Comments from Luna Rossa Challenge and Artemis Racing on the Louis Vuitton Cup Semifinal

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Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge today completed a 4-0 sweep of Artemis Racing in the semifinal round of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series. Below is a selection of quotes from the post-race press conference.

Patrizio Bertelli, Principal, Luna Rossa Challenge, on advancing to the Louis Vuitton Cup Final: “We always declared that our objective was to reach the Final of the Louis Vuitton Cup. We launched our boat on November 28, 2012, and in these nine months we weren’t ahead of the design. We have grown up and become more competitive, but the time that’s left isn’t to our advantage. We hope that the improvements that we make to our design will make us competitive in our second round of races versus Emirates Team New Zealand.”

RELATED STORY: Luna Rossa Challenge to meet Emirates Team New Zealand in Louis Vuitton Cup Final

Chris Draper, Helmsman, Luna Rossa Challenge, on the development of the team through the semifinal: “The team has taken a good few steps forward the past couple of weeks. For sure we’ve improved a lot, but we’ve all seen the Kiwis (Emirates Team New Zealand) are very, very solid. We’re going to have to sail incredibly well, and we need to get more performance out of our boat to be competitive with them. With regards to boathandling and that sort of thing, I think we’re getting a lot closer. But they’re still improving and that makes it hard for us to make up ground, it makes it hard for any of us. But we feel a lot happier racing the boat and feel like we’re properly racing now. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s amazing how unprepared you can feel, these boats are pretty humbling. For sure we keep pushing next week and fingers crossed we can be as competitive as possible and the hopefully the changes we’ll make to the boat will improve upwind performance as well.”

Nathan Outteridge, Helmsman, Artemis Racing, on his future in the America’s Cup: “It’s very different to the sailing I’ve done in the past, with the Olympics and Moths and things like that. I’ve really enjoyed my experience with Artemis Racing. The past two weeks have probably been the most fun I’ve had sailing in a very long time. These boats are amazing machines. It was only today on the final run where I finally felt like we were getting into the groove and no one was freaking out and panicking about things. It was amazing fun. I’m looking forward to the future of how to balance Olympic sailing and the America’s Cup. They’re both very different areas of our sport and I enjoy both. To be on board with guys like Iain Percy is a huge honor, and I’m looking forward towards the next America’s Cup.”

Iain Percy, Skipper, Artemis Racing, on overcoming the loss of crewman and close friend Andrew Simpson: “Any group of people that’s been through something as terrible as we did, it has a very gelling component to it. We became close as a team, I guess like anyone who’s been involved in an accident. One thing for sure that allows you to go forward with a lot of confidence as a team. I think it’s going to be incredibly strong in the future, and Andrew will have been a big part of that.”

Max Sirena, Skipper, Luna Rossa Challenge, on the development of Luna Rossa Challenge: “Our first sailing day was January 9, 2012, with the AC45. A couple of months later we won the America’s Cup World Series event in Naples (April 2012). It’s been a big rush because we started really late, almost year and a half after everyone here, and with a small team and a project designed by another team. I think we achieved a big result today and the team did a really good job.”

Torbjörn Törnqvist, Principal, Artemis Racing, on fielding a second challenge for the America’s Cup: “Yes, that’s my wish. It’s difficult to say what the format will be for the next America’s Cup, but I certainly see this as the first campaign and not the last one… These are spectacular boats and the tradition of the America’s Cup has always been spectacular boats at its time. I think these boats are different, controversial in many aspects. Some of the traditional racing perhaps gets lost, it’s more raw speed, but I think it’s too early to summarize. There are pros and cons, clearly, to this.”

Upcoming Louis Vuitton Cup Final schedule (best-of-13 series)

  • Saturday, Aug. 17: Final Race 1 (1:10 pm PT start time), Final Race 2 (2:10 pm PT)

  • Sunday, Aug. 18: Final Race 3 (1:10 pm PT), Final Race 4 (2:10 pm PT)

  • Wednesday, Aug. 21: Final Race 5 (1:10 pm PT), Final Race 6 (2:10 pm PT)

  • Saturday, Aug. 24: Final Race 7 (1:10 pm PT), Final Race 8 (2:10 pm PT)*


(* If necessary)

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