It’s all in good fun, the usual ribbing of the Cup’s only knighted skipper, but there’s a reverse of tone as we pull up alongside Artemis’ own AC45. Laid back and jovial on the short RIB ride from the base, as soon as they step on board cat and switch into race mode, the transformation is immediate. Once the mooring line slips away and the wing sheet gets wound on the winch, there’s no space or time for jokes. It’s all awareness, all the time.
For the practice races of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in New York, I’ve lucked into the guest racer position onboard Artemis. I’m issued foul weather gear, a PFD and a helmet and instructed by Artemis coach Tom Burnham to just hang tight behind the aft beam, on a foot-wide section of trampoline netting, inside the blue rope that Burnham calls the “oh-shit” line.