With the round robin part for the Americas Cup over and it nearing the business end of the oldest trophy in international sport, we are delicately poised for the final all out effort to crown sailings most worthy champions. This year the Americas Cup takes place in San Francisco and is proving to be hugely popular both because of the easy nature with which fans and enthusiasts can watch defending champion Team Oracle and their potential challengers practice and compete in these warm blue waters, and because of the drama and the controversy that has often been a feature.
On Saturday, with the heartbreaking loss of Andrew “Bart” Simpson, beloved crew mate and the skipper's best friend forefront in everyone's mind, Team Artemis bowed out in a highly emotional but proud moment after losing its last race against Italy's Luna Rossa after a valiant comeback. Artemis skipper Iain Percy who won two gold medals sailing with Simpson and who acted as best man at his wedding said “I'm hugely proud of our team. It's been a terrible period, he would have been so proud of us, considering this is something that none of us thought we'd be able to do two months ago when we lost him.”
The elimination of who were, until this tragic event, a very strong contender has set up the semi final between the ever strong Team New Zealand and Italy's Luna Rossa in the best-of-13 races beginning this coming Saturday at 1:10 pm. The winner of this highly anticipated semi final will then face defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 34th America's Cup beginning Sept. 7.
Overshadowing much of the Americas cup however, is the on going investigation into Team Oracle's boat tampering to the smaller AC45 catamarans during the America's Cup World Series regattas. 40 key team members are expected to be interviewed as part of its investigation into a potential breach of rules that could have severe implications as well as substantial bans from the sport.