Swedish bid poach Team New Zealand coach

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 07:38 20/08/2014
Rod Davis
Reuters
HIRED GUN: American sailor Rod Davis is known for moving around syndicates. He was in the afterguard for Prada in 2009.

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Team New Zealand coach Rod Davis has switched camps, joining Sweden's Artemis Racing syndicate for the next America's Cup campaign.

The Swedes, who suffered the tragic loss of Bart Simpson when their catamaran capsized in the buildup to the last event in San Francisco, were never competitive in 2013.

But today they confirmed their challenge, joining Team New Zealand as the only confirmed challengers for the 35th America's Cup, expected to be sailed in 2017.

While entries closed on August 8, Cup holder Oracle have not confirmed the line-up of teams that would form the challenging nations.

Britain and Italy were certain to be involved, France has expressed strong interest and there have been whispers of an Asian syndicate. The official challengers were set to be officially unveiled in London early next month.

In confirming their participation, Artemis Racing also unveiled some new personnel in key positions.

And that included Davis, a veteran of eight America's Cup campaigns for four different national teams - as a coach and a sailor.

The American has become known as the ultimate hired gun and now he was charged with making the Swedish sailors competitive.

Artemis believe Davis brought "unparalleled wealth of experience to the team, having covered a variety of roles from bowman to mainsail trimmer, skipper, and more recently coach of Team New Zealand".

Davis won a gold medal in the Soling class at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984, and Olympic silver in the Finn class in Barcelona 1992.

His track record also included winning the Admiral's Cup and the Sardinia Cup several times, as well as seven World Champion titles.

Artemis have continuity in their sailing crew with Australian skipper Nathan Outteridge signing on from San Francisco alongside British tactician Iain Percy, Simpson's close friend who has taken on a campaign management role.

They have also secured top Swedish sailors Fredrik Lööf and Max Salminen who won gold in the Star class at the last Olympics.

"Building on our core group from the last campaign, we have been able to secure talent across all areas, and I strongly believe that Artemis Racing is a team capable of winning the 35th America's Cup," team principal Torbjörn Törnqvist said.

Artemis team members, including designers, have contested 61 America's Cup campaigns, including 14 victories. They have also contested 21 Olympic Games, winning 11 medals, including seven golds.

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