Countdown: Only 28  days until the beginning of the Louis Vuitton 35th America’s Cup Qualifiers in Bermuda.

Emirates Team New Zealand sailing on Bermuda’s Great Sound for their second day of testing on Apr. 23 Photo/Hamish Hooper

The fourth series of practice races are continuing on the Great Sound and will conclude Friday. Artemis seems to dominate in these windy conditions, winning most of the races, including those against ORACLE.  Yesterday ORACLE had dagger board issues and fell out. In the third series of races Artemis had won nine races and lost none. The fifth series of practice races will take place May 15-19, and during the time in between, protocol prevents teams from racing against each other. There will be an additional three days of practice racing between May 19 and the start of the Qualifiers on May 26.

Emirates Team New Zealand just got out on the water last week and have not been racing in these winds this week. According to Richard Gladwell of Sail-World “The situation with ETNZ is that they have had to undergo measurement this week, along with all the other teams. They are still using a set of AC45S foils (daggerboards and rudders) as a temporary measure. They have also indicated that there is still more development to come. If the wind is lighter (8-11kts from the SE), then they may race for the first time on Friday.” Gladwell thinks that Artemis Racing is at the top of their class in 2017!

Update: ETNZ did get out on the water for their first practice races in Bermuda. They beat Artemis Racing. They beat Groupama Team France. And then lost to SoftBank team Japan. Pretty good for their first day of practice races!

Listen to the 35th America’s Cup skippers’ comments about the practice racing: (Jimmy Spithill, USA; Ben Ainslie, GBR; Nathan Outteridge, SWE; Fuku Sofuku, JAP; Franck Cammas, FRA; and  Glenn Ashby, NZ.)