America's Cup: Artemis Racing suspends sailing program to modify AC72

Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA AC72 training in San Francisco Bay in early February

Following a couple of training sessions on San Francisco Bay earlier this month, when Oracle Team USA and Artemis Racing lined up with their two AC72s for the first time, as of February 22, 2013 the Swedish team has decided to suspend their sailing program in favor of boat modifications.

'In some ways it was tough,' admitted sailing director Iain Percy, when asked about the results of the two-boat training. 'We’ve learned we needed to make some changes to the boat and hence she’s come into the shed.'

Lining up against the opposition is an important reality check on progress, especially when testing a new class like the AC72.

July 28, 2012 Iain Percy and Bart Simpson, GBR Star Two Man keelboat
'It’s amazing to be out there with another boat,' Percy said. 'You can learn heaps. Now, we have to look at a few things. We enjoyed being out there with them. We all know what one boat sailing is like, you go out and think you’re making improvements and then suddenly there’s another boat there and it’s huge (what you learn).'

His counterpart on Oracle Team USA agreed.

'Both teams get to see where they are and more importantly they can react,' said Jimmy Spithill, the skipper of the American defender. 'We lined up in pretty fresh conditions and I think for both teams it was a big step.'

The other teams sailing AC72s would seem to be on board with that assessment as Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge sailed against each other several times during training sessions before Christmas. But it wasn’t until this month that Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA had their boats sailing at the same time.

'When you’ve got two boats together, you can take the good points that you see from both,' Percy said. 'You learn from each other and make improvements and that’s the power of sailing against another boat.'

And for Artemis Racing, the lesson learned was that the team needs to make changes.

'It’s going to be a full team effort,' said CEO Paul Cayard. 'We have the shore team, the design team and everyone is enthusiastic and we are going to roll up our selves and get into it before we get back out on the track.'

Artemis and Oracle Team USA AC72 training in San Francisco Bay

Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA AC72 training in San Francisco Bay in early February

Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA AC72 training in San Francisco Bay in early February

Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA AC72 training in San Francisco Bay in early February

Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USAAC72 training in San Francisco Bay in early February

Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USAAC72 training in San Francisco Bay in early February

08/02/2013 - San Francisco (USA) - 34th America's Cup - ARTEMIS and ORACLE TEAM USA AC72 training in San Francisco Bay

Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA AC72 training in San Francisco Bay in early February