Special to Nordstjernan from America's Cup on August 7, 2013:

Today's conditions were similar to those of yesterday (Italy earns 1pt in LVC Semifinal #1), as was the result. The Italians notched their second win over Sweden. Tomorrow is a Reserve Day, time for Artemis to practice foiling. They must score a win either on Friday's or Saturday's race, if they are not to be eliminated from the America's Cup this weekend.

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Sweden leads at start but trails in race
Once again Outteridge (SWE) got the better of Draper (ITA) at the start. But even though Luna Rossa was on the outside as they rounded the mark at the reach, Luna Rossa rose up on its foils and kept abreast of Artemis, putting them in the superior position to turn. And again, once Italy drew ahead, they never looked back.
At one point Italy was ahead by four-fifths of a kilometer, though Artemis again whittled away that lead as they had yesterday going upwind. When Artemis Skipper and Tactician Iain Percy headed in toward shore — where the current was ebbing even as the tide was flooding in through the Gate in the middle of the channel — they reduced the gap significantly.

Light breeze slowed the race
The one surprise was when Italy hit a wind pocket during a foiling jibe. One moment they were up, turning on foils. The next they were nose diving, as first one hull and then the other plowed into the water. A different surprise awaited Luna Rossa as they entered the turn into the last mark, when the breeze completely died on them and they almost stalled.
After the race during the debriefing Outteridge told me that the light breeze (averaging 11kts) was very difficult for them. He felt “it was evident [Italy] could foil in lighter breeze. The wind was down to 6kts at some points.”
Indeed the whole race was slow, almost an hour long. Each boat is designed to optimize under certain conditions. Artemis is built for more typical SF Bay "summer" breezes of 16-20kts or more. The lighter breezes sapped Artemis’ foiling.

Challenges to be mastered
Further complicating their efforts, for safety sake, their boat carries ~5% more weight than any of the others, to make it less likely to pitchpole. And the winglets on their rudders, at the very bottom, are not as useful as on other boats.
Fortunately Helmsman Nathan Outteridge and his mate WingTrimmer “Gube” (Iain Jensen) are lifelong friends and sailing partners, much as Percy and Simpson were. So, rather than communicating the optimum camber of the wing by telemetry, they synchronize by telepathy.
Again tonight they will be studying all the videos, of their performance as well as closeups of those of their competitor. Tomorrow they will likely spend most of their day perfecting jibing on foils and smoothing the transfer from one to the other as well as the precision of when to lower the new foil and withdraw the old one.

Artemis crew does not panic
With such superb sailors and this crew's determination, they have but one full day of practice in which to master this new skill. Meanwhile Oracle's CEO, Russell Coutts, the most winning America's Cup sailor, already amazed at how quickly the Artemis crew have mastered their new boat, was confident that they would be formidable and that trying to foil in today’s slow and unstable wind conditions would have been difficult for any team.
Oracle Statistician Tom Slingsby knows that to jibe on foils takes time, which Artemis doesn’t have, but “for Artemis, they just have to get out there and practice a bit more. After the race today, I saw they went out again and were practicing a bit more. So, by tomorrow or the next race, they’ll be looking good.”
Separately Coutts also stated that USA is racing its two boats against each other, providing them more data faster to refine their design and skills. The Champion is watching all the challengers in these races for its matches in September against the best of them.

Ted Olsson
San Francisco