ALAMEDA -- In a private dockside ceremony early Monday morning, the crew of Sweden's Artemis Racing team finally launched its new America's Cup racing boat into San Francisco Bay.

The launch of the blue-and-yellow 72-foot catamaran comes more than two months after the tragic capsize of its first boat during a training exercise May 9. Andrew "Bart" Simpson, an Olympic gold medalist and beloved crew member, was killed when the boat cracked apart and he was trapped under the wreckage.

Artemis racing was already behind on the construction of its second boat and the accident further delayed the team's entry into America's Cup races as it tested its design and construction to make sure it is safe.

"This is a great day for many reasons," Artemis Racing owner Torbjörn Törnqvist told the crowd. "It is the culmination of a heroic effort to put together this beautiful boat .... The shore team has put so much into this, and now for our sailing team to get out there and give her justice. I am proud to share with you this great moment."

While the team plans to begin training on the bay this week, it is not expected to join the Louis Vuitton Cup races, which precede the America's Cup finals, until the semifinals Aug. 6.

The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup will take on defender Oracle Team USA beginning Sept. 7.

Contact Julia Prodis Sulek at 408-278-3409. Follow her at Twitter.com/juliasulek.



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