Cayard speaks at Swedish Church/SF banquet
Last time we reported on an enlarged amphitheater for huge performance parties at the America’s Cup Village. This increase would attract young audiences to the main event to help America’s Cup pay for their share of the event. Predictably this led one of our politicians to hold a public hearing on financing the event.
As originally proposed, the event was to generate $1.4 billion in revenue from 2.7 million spectators. Now this estimate is reduced to $946 million and 2 million people. Unfortunately the international recession’s unpredictability interfered with economic forecasts.
Of course when the crowd is tinctured with envy, they can righteously demand that the billionaire Ellison foot the bill while his Oracle Team USA defends the Cup here in San Francisco. They do enjoy other wealthy backers providing other national competitions (the Giants, 49ers and Warriors come to mind) for a fee. In contrast, the America’s Cup stadium city concept welcomes spectators for free.
The main complaints were financial shortfalls to be subsidized by the city, 50 percent local labor at prevailing union wages and equitable financial benefit to all neighborhoods. Above all, the cost of entry into this competition, even by the wealthiest individuals, reduced the competition from eight nations and a dozen boats to four nations (Defender Oracle vs Sweden, New Zealand, Italy and still possibly Korea). Given the wealth of international oligarchs, it’s rather interesting that China, Russia and Mexico are not competing.
I still bet that so many young people will swarm to the entertainment and the thrill of the races that both recent projections of spectators and of finances will be exceeded while San Francisco will gain a summer of publicity during the recovery.

The World Series continues
Taking a break from local action, the America’s Cup World Series of races leading up to the championship here, now transfers to Naples, Italy for the week of April 16-21. Swedes should delight in sailing the Bay of Naples. The patron saint of Naples is Santa Lucia and the Neapolitan barcarole melody is the source of the beloved Swedish Sancta Lucia hymn. Here the teams will compete to gain experience and points before coming to San Francisco to contend for the ultimate prize in sports.
Artemis has announced they have selected Helmsman Charlie Ekberg to join Artemis Racing White team in the Naples races. In this way Artemis is investing in the next generation of Sweden’s sailors for sailing competition at the very highest levels.
Appreciating this opportunity of a lifetime, Ekberg said he had “learned so much from training with the team on San Francisco Bay.” This confirmed the lineup for Artemis at Naples: Charlie Ekberg (SWE), helmsman; Troy Tindill, wingman; Matt Cornwell, bowman; Peter Merrington, floater; Anthony Nossiter, trimmer; with Niclas During as backup. Both Ekberg as helmsman and During as wingman with three other young Swedish sailors will crew Sweden’s boat in the Red Bull contest on San Francisco Bay, September 1-4, 2013. The KSSS coach Björn Johansson will complete his selection of Sweden’s team for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup (RBYAC) by the end of April. So after Ekberg and During return from Naples, they will be further seasoned by that competition to help train their crew for San Francisco in September.
CEO and Tactician Paul Cayard of Artemis Racing claimed that not only would Ekberg joining the team at Naples strengthen that team while allowing Ekberg to learn from the other four veterans, but it would also strengthen the RBYAC team in San Francisco while allowing the San Francisco contingent to continue preparing for the Louis Vuitton Cup, to determine the single challenger to Oracle Team USA in September: a win all around for Artemis.
In addition to the Swede Ekberg, Artemis took on crewmate Craig Monk, a New Zealand grinder. He has 18 national titles in five classes, and to date his career has amassed more than 15 million handle rotations of grinding (pumping and pulling taut the sails and wings that power the boats). He brings a lot of talent to the team, having been a grinder on the team when New Zealand won the Cup and later on the BMW Oracle team.
After Naples, all eyes turn to the Summer of Racing on San Francisco Bay. See you here then.


Blessing the Fleet
At a beautiful banquet at Artemis’ home away from home—the St. Francis Yacht Club, where Paul Cayard and his Whitbread round-the-world trophy are fixtures—The Swedish Church in San Francisco held a fundraiser on Saturday, March 16. The highlight was to be a talk from Artemis, but Pastor Pernilla Håkansdotter-Olsson, and her accompanist Jay Cook, organist from Los Angeles’ Swedish Church, stole the show with her beautiful singing of ballads. It was just the sort of prelude to a delightful evening of dining with many old friends.
The reception preceding dinner was a time to welcome friends and say farewell to Princess Lillian of Sweden, wife of Prince Bertil. Their’s was a true love story, enduring the rules of royalty until they could marry in their sixties. After the singing and signing, and the pastor blessed Artemis’ fleet, wishing them godspeed to sail across the course, and the 120 guests were seated and treated to dinner.
Just after the dinner and before a talk by Artemis, SWEA-SF President Skoglund very generously fulfilled a big portion of the fundraising rationale for the dinner by presenting to Pastor Håkansdotter-Olsson a check for $5,000 to support the administration and logistics of maintaining monthly Swedish church services in San Francisco at the Norwegian Church on Hyde Street overlooking the Bay.
After dinner we were appropriately addressed by the one true Swede on Artemis’ team, Magnus Augustsson of Gothenburg (known affectionately to teammates as “Mango”), the powerful grinder who captures the wind for the crew and by Allie Cayard, who’s father, Paul Cayard, leads the team and whose grandfather, Pelle Petterson, is the legendary designer/sailor of Swedish racing boats. After his talk, Augustsson was presented with a gift by the doyenne of the Bay Area Swedish community and our sponsor at the St. Francis Yacht Club, Lisa Wiborg.
Augustsson spoke of the upcoming events and brought along some of the new gear that all crews now wear for added safety in this extreme sport. He spoke of how he entered the sport and of how he and his family enjoy living beside the Bay this year. He knows that after three months the pace will spike high, once they all are competing for the America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay.

~Ted Olsson

PHOTOS (captions/© photographer)
1. Charlie Ekberg & Niclas During [© Sander van der Borch/Artemis racing]
2. Rev. Pernilla Håkansdotter-Olsson serenading the crowd [© Ted Olsson]
3. Princess Lillian was remembered [© Ted Olsson]
4 Honorary Consul General Barbro Osher addressed the guests [© Ted Olsson]
5. SWEA presents check to the Swedish Church in San Francisco [© Ted Olsson]
6. Magnus Augustsson and Allie Cayard of Artemis Racing [© Ted Olsson]
7. Lisa Wiborg presented Augustsson with a poster for the occasion [© Ted Olsson]