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AC Bits from Peyron and Cayard

There was some interesting information disclosed about the Artemis America’s Cup campagin in a June 27 New York Times article by Christopher Clarey:
  • The May 9 incident in which Artemis capsized and broke apart was, in the words of Loïck Peyron, a "classic capsize situation." Peyron, a Frenchman who is perhaps the most experienced and successful big multihull racer in the America’s Cup, is one of the two helmsmen for Artemis and was following the cat in a chase boat at the time of the accident.
  • Peyron said that contrary to some reports, Artemis did not break up before she capsized. He told the Times that the red cat was bearing away, which has proven to be very tricky for the AC72s, but there was "a bit too much wind" and the cat didn’t have enough lifting force from the foil or daggerboards. So she pitchpoled. He said that Artemis broke "during" the capsize, not before.
  • Crewman Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson was not killed because he was trapped beneath the cat’s net, Peyron said, but rather "between the beams and the wing." He did not reveal the exact cause of death.
  • The 53-year-old Peyron said it was "unacceptable" that the boat would break, and that the crew lost a friend "because of a structure failure."
  • Peyron said that part of the problem was that the shape of the beam itself "was not exactly the best one." But he did say it was well built. The boat was designed by Argentinian Juan Kouyoumdjian, who has spent most of his career designing monohulls.
  • Artemis CEO Paul Cayard told the Times that unlike the other AC72s, Artemis, which was on her last sail, was not a fully hydrofoiling cat. The new Artemis will be.
  • Artemis has 130 employees, but Cayard said that there have "only been a few departures from the team" following the death of Simpson. Cayard didn’t give a specific number or name any names or job descriptions.
  • Peyron is not completely satisfied with how the Cup is proceeding. Specifically, he said that he thought the new wind speed limits — dropped down to just 20 knots for the first phase of the challenger series — was still too high, and that the five-minute window for measuring the wind speed was too long. According to the Times, Peyron also believes that more can be done to make the big cats easier to steer. We presume he was talking about elevators, but he wasn’t specific.
  • Peyron has previously said that the AC72s are too big and are overpowered for San Francisco Bay. As we mentioned, he is probably the most experienced and most successful big multihull racer in the America’s Cup. Nonetheless, he thinks the event needs to go on.
  • Cayard told the Times that even though he, like Peyron, had been in a chase boat, he was in a ‘position of responsibility’, as was helmsman Nathan Outteridge and skipper Iain Percy, the latter being Simpson’s partner in winning a Gold Medal in the Star class at the London Olympics. "We all were [in positions of responsibility]," said Cayard.
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