Louis Vuitton Cup: Crowd favorite Artemis exits the LVC gracefully

Oracle Team USA members watching the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup Semi-Final race from their tender designed by Naiad

Despite the overwhelming odds against them, Artemis stuck with their program and fought hard until the very end. That team spirit, coupled with the loss of team member Andrew Simpson, made Artemis a crowd favorite in San Francisco.

At the finish line in each match race Artemis contested, and lost, the cheers for the Swedish blue boat were louder and longer than for the winner, Luna Rossa. It's not that the spectators didn't like the Italian team, they did. But they loved Artemis. Part of that had to do with the team being led by local racer, Paul Cayard, and an even larger part by the tragic loss of popular Artemis team member Andrew Simpson in a training accident.

That, plus the fact that Artemis had only 13 days on the water with their new boat, compared to Luna Rossa's 69 days. makes their race results even more amazing, since Artemis was making major improvements each race, with the gap between them and Luna Rossa closing steadily. The prevailing thought around the AC venue is that, given just a few more days, Artemis' LVC semi-final result might have been much different.

Here are a few photos of the last Louis Vuitton Cup semi-final match race for Artemis, eliminated by Luna
Rossa, who move on to meet Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton Cup finals. For details of the race, please read the Sail-World articles by Bob Fisher and Richard Gladwell. And don't miss John Navas' amazing video of the race.

Chuck Lantz, one of Sail-World's on-site photographers, took these shots from shore, near the Golden Gate Yacht Club.

Artemis on the foils, heading to the first mark - 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup Semi-Finals

Luna Rossa and Artemis hit the start line, with the Swedish boat in front - America's Cup

Artemis Racing competing in the Semi-Finals of the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup in San Francisco

Eventual winner Luna Rossa rounds the first mark, close behind Artemis. - America's Cup

Artemis heads left while Luna Rossa stays right, almost a carbon copy of the two previous races. - America's Cup

Luna Rossa looking stable and fast as they get ready to gybe towards Alcatraz. - America's Cup

Luna Rossa has passed Artemis as in previous races, but the gap is smaller this time around. - America's Cup

Luna Rossa heads back downwind as Artemis loses more ground. - America's Cup