Artemis Racing made a solid start to the RC44 season in Lanzarote, finishing fourth in the first regatta of 2018.

Following the cancellation of Wednesday’s practice racing due to gale force winds, conditions were much improved on Thursday. By the time of the first official race, the wind was 10-12 knots, with occasional gusts of 20 knots, and it was the Swedish outfit that managed the early conditions best.

Skipper, Torbjörn Törnqvist, was pleased to win the first race, and ended the day in second place, just one point off the lead. “We are very happy with the speed of the boat. I haven’t sailed for six months but the guys made it very easy for me. They have done a great job. Today the conditions were great – challenging with good wind, so I am very happy to be on board again. I am looking forward to this week.” 

Lanzarote laid on superb conditions for day two, and Artemis Racing continued where they left off, claiming the opening race. This initially moved the Swedish America's Cup team into the lead overall, only for them to score deep results in the final two races of the day.

“In the second race we had a great start and we came out on a clean lane, but then Aqua came and we had to duck them in a port-starboard situation. They got a penalty but we lost our lane,” said Törnqvist.

On day three, a North Atlantic cold front threatened to wreak havoc over Lanzarote, with the offshore west-northwesterly wind creating snakes and ladders conditions for the first race of the day, which saw Artemis Racing slip back from second to fifth on the final run.

With conditions going light for race three, Team Aqua, Aleph and CEEREF were over early and were forced to restart. Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing made the best of the tricky conditions, reaching the weather mark first. The Swedish America’s Cup team then defended well to secure its third bullet of the RC44 Calero Marinas Cup.

Going into the final day of racing, Charisma held a five points advantage over Team Nika, with Artemis Racing a further three points back in third place.

With no awkward frontal systems to complicate matters on Sunday, Lanzarote reverted to her usual summery self for the final day of competition. The 15-16 knots winds remained reliably in the southwest, which with flat water and a scorching sun, made it seem like June in the Mediterranean.

After posting a couple of deep results, Artemis Racing was back on song for the final race of the regatta. While all eyes were on CEEREF on one side and Charisma, it was Aleph Racing who rounded the top mark in first. However on the run Artemis Racing managed to overhaul the French team, and hung on to the lead, for the remainder of the race, securing a fourth place finish in Lanzarote.

The team’s new Tactician, Andy Horton, was pleased with the performance. “The regatta was sailed to leeward of the island chain making it a very tricky event, but the pieces are certainly in place for a successful season. On reflection, we won a race on every day, winning more races than any other team. But we also had our fair share of sixth place finishes, so we’ll continue to work on the small details, which will improve our consistency. If we were able to shave one place off, per race, our score would have won the event. So we are close, and can certainly improve”.

Competition now returns to Portoroz, Slovenia, the birthplace of the RC44, for the second event of the 2018 championship over 9-13 May.