Over the course of the last week, Artemis Racing has had six young Swedish sailors living the full America’s Cup experience, both on and off the water. Having travelled from Stockholm to San Francisco, the young sailors from the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS) have had the unique opportunity to experience everything from working out in the gym with the team, to maintaining the boats and training on the AC45s on San Francisco Bay.
This has been a chance of a lifetime for these aspiring sailors, giving them a glimpse of just how far you can go in sailing if you work hard and follow your passion. These ambitious young sailors are already competing at the top of the game in 29er’s, 49er’s, Laser radials and Europe dinghies. Anna Mikkelsen, Johanna Sommarlund, Julia Gross, Antonia Sjöstedt, Louise Törnsten and Hampus Appelgren now have their sights set on representing Sweden in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The week of training and racing was the first initiative of the Artemis Racing Youth Programme and wrapped up on Saturday, with the Artemis Racing Invitational. The Swedish sailors lined up against four American university sailing teams for a team racing regatta organized by the Encinal Yacht Club. Team racing in Flying Juniors (FJs) was a first for the Swedish sailors who only had a few hours to train prior to the event.
The collegiate sailors from the University of California, Berkeley, Western Washington University and Encinal Yacht Club enjoyed racing against the Swedish sailors who by the end of the day progressed through the matches to win the team racing finals. An impressive result for the newcomers to team racing. The final scoring however, took into account all the round robin scores so it was Western Washington University who won overall. The students who travelled from Washington for the regatta will now get to return to the Bay to redeem their prize – a sail on one of the Artemis Racing AC45s.
“Six strong youth sailors from the KSSS had the golden opportunity to visit one of the top Challengers for the 2013 America’s Cup this week. It was a dream come true for these young sailors to be so close to a professional sailing team. The inspiration from Artemis will stay in our minds forever,” said Coach Björn Johansson.
(Words: Artemis Racing. Photos: Erik Simonsen / Artemis Racing)