Artemis Racing laid down a marker at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman yesterday.
The Swedish challenger swept both fleet races and beat Oracle Team USA, the America’s Cup defender, in a match race during official practice races contested in fickle four to seven-knot breezes.
Commenting on his team’s encouraging performances in the AC45F catamaran, Iain Percy, the Artemis tactician and sailing team manager, said: “A great day for us winning both practice fleet races and a match race as well.”
Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, added: “Winning in Bermuda was a huge confidence boost, and it’s great to continue that form into Oman, in completely different conditions.
“It’s early days though, and with lots of points up for grabs this weekend, it’s important that we remain focused and start fresh tomorrow.”
The light air conditions resulted in very little foiling and more traditional light wind multi-hull sailing on the AC45F catamarans, with teams taking the unusual step of flying their genneker or “code zero” sail for the entire races.
SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France finished second and third in the first fleet race behind Artemis, who won the previous World Series event in Bermuda last October.
Rounding off the podium in the second fleet race were Oracle and Land Rover BAR, helmed by former Oracle tactician Sir Ben Ainslie.
In other match races, Emirates Team New Zealand beat Groupama Team France, SoftBank Team Japan beat Land Rover BAR, Team France beat Artemis, Team New Zealand beat Team Japan and Land Rover BAR beat Team Oracle.
The World Series Oman starts proper with three races today and continues tomorrow with three more races, where the points on offer will be doubled.
Team New Zealand lead the overall World Series standings by ten points over Land Rover BAR.
Meanwhile, Artemis Racing have been tipped as the favourites to win next week’s RC44 Bermuda Cup.
Artemis will be represented by two teams in the event on the Great Sound, Artemis Racing and Artemis Racing Youth.
Artemis Racing’s star-studded line-up includes Francesco Bruni, the King Edward VII Gold Cup winner and three times America’s Cup and Olympic sailor who is joined by America’s Cup team-mates Christian Kamp and Pieter Van Nieuwenhuijzen.
Onboard Artemis Racing Youth is Freddy Loof, Sweden’s most successful sailor, and British Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison.
Both teams will be hoping the wealth of local knowledge their sailors have gained from training out of their team base ahead of the 35th America’s Cup will give them the competitive edge next week.
The RC44 Bermuda Cup is the opening regatta of the 2016 RC44 Championship which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.
Team Nika, who have been bolstered by the addition of the American sailing legend Ed Baird, are the defending RC44 World and fleet racing champions, while Bronenosec Sailing Team are the defending RC44 match racing champions.
The RC44 Bermuda Cup runs from March 2 to 6 and the regatta will kick off with a day of match racing followed by four days of fleet racing.
Racing updates can be obtained via the live blog at www.rc44.com.
This Story appeared in The Royal Gazette on February 27th, 2016.