Artemis retain Australian duo for next regatta

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 13:48 13/12/2013

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Troubled Swedish America's Cup syndicate Artemis Racing have confirmed their intentions for the next regatta by retaining their strong Australian connection of Olympic champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen.

The pair were involved in this year's campaign that was hit by the fatal capsize that killed British sailor Andrew "Bart" Simpson.

Outteridge was the helmsman and Jensen the wing trimmer.

Their decision to stick with a foreign syndicate is another sign of how difficult it is going to be for Team Australia, the new America's Cup challenger of record, to assemble a crew of local talent to be competitive, especially in the key area of cup experience.

The Swedes are clearly serious about making up for their disasters in San Francisco.

Artemis Racing owner Torbjörn Törnqvist has already signed up British sailors Iain Percy and legendary grinder Chris Brittle and believe this quartet can provide the backbone for the crew needed for the next challenge.

"With Iain, Nathan, Goobs (Jensen) and Chris all on board, Artemis Racing has a core of talent and experience that will drive us toward the next cup," Törnqvist said.

"They have individually and together already achieved very much and I believe in their potential as a team. We look forward to seeing what the 35th America's Cup will bring."

Percy will cover CEO duties as well.

Outteridge and Jensen have been sailing together since childhood and capped their young careers by winning gold in the 49er class at the last Olympics, beating rising Kiwi stars Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.

They are keen to defend their Olympics title in Rio in 2016 and believe they can mix that with their America's Cup buildup for a regatta likely to be held in 2017.

"Torbjörn and Perce (Percy) are great to work with and are truly passionate about wanting to build a strong, youthful team capable of winning the cup," Outteridge said.

"They fully support our Olympic ambitions and have made it very clear that Goobs and I are the right people to be leading this team."

Added Jensen: "I feel a lot of loyalty towards the people involved with Artemis Racing. Towards the end of the last cup, we had something very special. We had our backs against the wall, and the shore team, the designers and the sailors were able to work miracles in those last few months. This gives me a lot of confidence going into the next cycle, and I'm very excited to see what will be achieved in the coming years."

Artemis will need to make some gains in their design department next time round.

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They were well behind in the foiling department this year and after their crash, which saw major safety rules applied, they didn't have the time to be competitive with their second boat.

- Fairfax Media

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