(featured photo credit: Americascup.com)
Final Event of 2015, Next Race Chicago 2016
Saturday in Bermuda was agonizing, waiting for wind that never came for the America’s Cup. Finally in late afternoon the race committee cancelled racing for the day. Thankfully Sunday’s forecast was better with 10+ knots expected.
On Sunday, wind filled in as promised and Oracle Team USA took race one with a last second jibe over the finish line to earn twenty points. On to race two.
As the six teams lined up for the start, most of the fleet crowded their forty-five foot boats in the middle. But Artemis turned their blue and yellow catamaran right for the favored side of the start line (favored because it was simply closer to turn number one on the racecourse).
Then, as the nearby picture shows, an umpire boat (pink) collided head on with Team Artemis, wedging under the larger race boat. Thankfully no one was injured but the Swedish boat was damaged. The race committee called an “abandon” on the race and reset the countdown clock for another try.
In this new “stadium” style racing, the boundaries, rocks and spectators are always close. Compare Bermuda’s two-mile legs to the twenty-mile legs of the 2010 Cup in Valencia, Spain. Just two months ago in Gothenburg Sweden, the same Team Artemis hit the rocks seconds after crossing the finish line.
Back in Bermuda, viewers were almost counting Artemis out. But Nathan Outteridge (helmsman) and the boys had other plans. They shook off the crash and set to fixing their boat. The footage from Bermuda shows an Artemis crewmember in the water with a hacksaw cutting away cables and other bits (photo nearby).
Amazingly, most of the damage was confined to the bowsprit. A boat can be sailed without that bowsprit, so Artemis was cutting it away. In fact, the weight loss might be a small advantage. After only ten minutes of delay racing was back on.
This time Team Artemis won the start and went on to win race two and enough points in race three to win the Bermuda regatta (results down below)!
Hats off to Team Artemis for the comeback and skilled hacksaw work.
bowsprit: a pole that extends forward of a sailboat’s bow on which larger downwind sails is carried
jibe: to turn a sailboat through the wind while the wind is from behind so that the wind ends up on the opposite side of the sail. Contrast with a tack which is to turn the boat when it is facing into the wind.