Three more days of unofficial practice racing for the 35th America’s Cup concluded on Wednesday afternoon (12 April 2017) on Bermuda’s Great Sound with the Swedish team Artemis Racing dominating proceedings, winning all nine of the races they took part in.
ORACLE TEAM USA finished second in the results table, winning five of their nine races, followed by SoftBank Team Japan who won two out of seven races they took part in, then Land Rover BAR who competed in five, winning one, and finally Groupama Team France who took part in four races without registering a victory.
Selected team quotes:
Jimmy Spithill, Skipper ORACLE TEAM USA: “It was another great race period. You can definitely see that all of the teams have improved since the last one. I think Artemis Racing came out on top and they really just made fewer mistakes than other teams. People were definitely trying a few things out on the water in terms of technique and also their general setups but it was fantastic – we got more top-end conditions in this race period.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do still. Clearly Artemis Racing are looking very strong, SoftBank Team Japan too were going really well but we learned a heap out of this as I’m sure everyone did who was out there. The French were spending more hours out there and getting sharper as well with their AC boards but overall it was a great period and we’ve got to build on this. The clock is ticking so every day counts.
“The priorities now are making sure we do a good debrief from this period, making sure we take the time to study all the racing and what we’ve learnt from it, and then we need to implement some of the development options. We need to make sure we keep developing this boat, keep making it faster, and every other team will do the same.”
Nathan Outteridge, Skipper, Artemis Racing: “We’ve had a really good race period here in Bermuda, all five teams on the island have been racing hard. We’ve had some really close battles, really close starting. Tacking duels around the course forcing umpires to make decisions, it’s everything we expect it’s going to be come May and June. It’s going to be close and we’re just working on getting better and better each day.”
Iain Percy, Team Manager, Artemis Racing: “Six weeks to go now until the beginning of the competition, and we’re now at the business end of our campaign. These race weeks continue to prove very useful. We’ve come away again with lots of lessons, lots of things we need to improve.”
Dean Barker, Skipper, SoftBank Team Japan: "This last practice racing period was the most beneficial yet for the team. The results obviously don't show just how close the racing was but we're really happy with how the boat is going and the improvements we're seeing out on the water. It just shows how close the racing will be - we'll keep developing and improving straight to the end."
Nicholas Heintz, Grinder, Groupama Team France: “In terms of physical stress, a training day on the water is much more demanding as we do three races and a lot of runs, a rhythm that we won’t be doing during the cup. The learning curve is exponential for Groupama Team France and we are learning from every session on the water.”
Adam Minoprio, Wing Trimmer, Groupama Team France: “The boat is getting more and more stable and faster on the race course. We reach 40 knots downwind and we are happy with our new foils designs. We’re still in the process of optimization in terms of control systems. Competition is very sharp indeed.”