Louis Vuitton Cup: Artemis starts Semi-Final with pace

Artemis Racing - Louis Vuitton Cup - Semi Finals. 6th of August, 2013, San Francisco

Artemis Racing took to the waters of San Francisco Bay for their first race today. Winds were in the 15-18 knot range with a 0.2 knot flood tide making the wind limit for the day 21.2 knots. The racecourse, as determined by America’s Cup Race Management, was the longest option with seven legs.

Artemis Racing came out of the blocks with pace, winning the start and leading at the first mark with a top speed of 39 knots. Artemis Racing gybed first, out toward the middle of the Bay; Luna Rossa’s gybe followed almost immediately. The additional days of training for the Italians became evident as they completed their first of many foiling gybes. Luna Rossa demonstrated today the value of time on the water; the result is consistent communication and solid maneuvers. Artemis raced today with just eight days training in their foiling AC72 compared to Luna Rossa with over 70 days. However, at the end of today’s race there was a two-minute separation, making it the closest race so far in the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup.

The Artemis Racing team watched proudly as Big Blue crossed the finish line. Skipper Iain Percy summed up the day as 'nothing but a complete success. Two months ago our goal was to complete a race, we did that and then some. We sailed our best sailing day by quite a considerable margin today. Nathan absolutely nailed the start and we couldn’t have asked for more.'

Race 2 of the Semi Finals is scheduled for 1315 tomorrow.

Today's crew list: Iain Percy (skipper/tactician), Nathan Outteridge (helmsman), Curtis Blewett (pit), Andy Fethers (pit), Chris Brittle (grinder), Julien Cressant (grinder), Craig Monk (grinder), Sean Clarkson (grinder), Thierry Fouchier (jib trim), Iain Jensen (wing trim), Rodney Ardern (wing assist).

Artemis Racing - Louis Vuitton Cup - Semi Finals. 6th of August, 2013, San Francisco

Artemis Racing trails Luna Rossa - Louis Vuitton Cup - Semi Finals. 6th of August, 2013, San Francisco

Artemis Racing - Louis Vuitton Cup - Semi Finals. 6th of August, 2013, San Francisco

Artemis Racing trails Luna Rossa - Louis Vuitton Cup - Semi Finals. 6th of August, 2013, San Francisco

Luna Rossa wins the First race of the Louis semi finals. 6th of August, 2013, Alameda, USA

Luna Rossa wins the First race of the Louis semi finals. 6th of August, 2013, Alameda, USA

Luna Rossa wins the First race of the Louis semi finals. 6th of August, 2013, Alameda, USA

Luna Rossa wins the First race of the Louis semi finals. 6th of August, 2013, Alameda, USA

Luna Rossa wins the First race of the Louis semi finals. 6th of August, 2013, Alameda, USA