With winds at just around the minimum wind speed of six knots, it was uncertain if racing would be held today. Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand did start a race at the scheduled start time, but it was abandoned on leg four when the race clock passed 25 minutes, the maximum time limit for a race.
After a long wait for more wind, the seventh race of the challenger final got a new start. The uphill battle for Artemis Racing soon seemed even steeper. Emirates Team New Zealand managed to stay clear in the pre-start and then took the lead in a drag race to the first mark. At the bottom gate the distance between the boats had grown to 19 seconds.
While the Swedish campaign tried to claw their way back in the race, Peter Burling and his team managed to consistently keep better pace in the light wind and extended their lead. They crossed the finish line as winners, grabbing their fifth and deciding point.
At the press conference after the racing, Skipper Nathan Outteridge commented:
“I think we can be really proud with how we have raced, we have had some really close matches with Team New Zealand and we left everything out on the water. Even today right up until the last minute we kept pushing, hoping we could make something happen.”
“We have thoroughly enjoyed the competition and the whole team have put in a lot of work the last few year’s. It was nice to reward them by making it to the final”
Artemis Racing is the second Swedish team to reach the challenger final in America’s Cup history. The first one was with Pelle Petterson at the helm of Sweden in 1977. That time the result ended with a 0-4 defeat.
“It’s mixed emotions”, said Iain Percy, Team Manager and tactician, and added:
As a team we are fierce competitors and we just lost so we are hugely disappointed. We felt we could go all the way and we didn’t.”
“We have started this campaign three years ago and have climbed a huge mountain together. We have gotten ourselves to a point where I think we all can see that we are right up there with the best in the sport of sailing. We take pride in that.”
“Of course it’s not fun at all to miss the America’s Cup Match when we have done such a good job and fought so hard along the way. Still, we have come a long way with this team and hopefully there will be a next chance for us, and then I think we have a good shot at bringing home the Cup for Sweden”, said Andreas Axelsson, Grinder onboard Artemis Racing.
“We have a really strong team, we pushed ourselves hard and could have made it more even, but we will be back. We are battling with the top teams and we have learnt a lot in this campaign. We have some really great strengths and some things we can do better. But we have every reason to believe that we can be better the next time”, said Torbjörn Törnqvist, owner and founder of Artemis Racing.
Peter Burling, Helmsman of Emirates Team New Zealand, gave a lot of credit to his opponents after the deciding match:
“Artemis Racing have been absolutely amazing opponents and they have pushed us incredibly hard” he said and added:
“We have had some really hard racing from an amazing team and that will put us in good shape going in the Cup match”.
Official results - Friday 6/12/2017
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs – Finals
Artemis Racing (SWE) – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 0-1
Artemis Racing (SWE) – 2p
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) - 5p