Recovering From Tragedy, Swedish Team Hopes To Return To America’s Cup Next Weekend

A Swedish team knocked out of the America’s Cup by a fatal accident in May hopes to be back out on the water by next weekend, race officials said today.

Artemis Racing was knocked out of competition by a May 9th accident that killed crewmember Andrew “Bart” Simpson and badly damaged the teams AC72 yacht.

In the team’s absence, Emirates Team New Zealand has taken a strong lead in the Louis Vuitton Cup, the competition that will determine which challenger races against defending champion Oracle Team USA for the America’s Cup.

The New Zealand team today scored its fourth point today in an unopposed race because it had been scheduled to race against Artemis, race officials said.

Today’s win brings Emirates Team New Zealand’s points total to 4 in the competition, which will determine who will race against.

The team sailed the 9.89 nautical miles course in 25 minutes and 56 seconds at an average speed of 26.52 knots, or 30.5 mph. It reached a top speed of 40.62 knots, or 46.7 mph in the final leg.

Emirates Team New Zealand also won against Luna Rossa Challenge on Saturday in a contested race.

Luna Rossa Challenge sat out the opening race against the New Zealand team because of a dispute over a proposed rule change requiring modifications to rudders on the AC-72 vessels being used in the races.

The proposed change was among 37 recommendations made by regatta director Iain Murray following Simpson’s death.

A five-person panel on July 11 upheld the appeal, stating that the changes must be withdrawn because Murray did not have the power to make the change without the agreement of all teams.

Luna Rossa then participated in its first race of the regatta that same day, also winning uncontested because it had been scheduled to race against Artemis.

The next race is scheduled for Tuesday. Artemis Racing is scheduled to race against Luna Rossa, but it appears unlikely the Italian team will again race unopposed.

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