Alameda-based Artemis Racing said it launched its first AC72 on Nov. 3. Team members say the launch came after thousands of design and build hours, and the vessel includes the latest technology and materials. The main VIP at the event was Barbro Osher, consul general of Sweden in San Francisco and "godmother" of Artemis.

Team Artemis, the America's Cup challenger of record, had the hulls built in Sweden. The hulls were then trucked to Valencia, Spain, and put on a cargo ship headed to the Bay Area, which arrived in August.

The team says its first AC72 wing "suffered significant damage in May during training" in Spain, and the wing -- or large sail that powers the AC72 -- was completely rebuilt.

"We are extremely excited to get out sailing with this first boat and the learning opportunity that it represents," said Juan Kouyoumidjian, who led the team designing and constructed the first of two AC72s in Valencia, in a statement. "Sailing here, in the realities of San Francisco Bay, makes the lessons hard, but extremely relevant."

The Artemis group now has 80 members here on the Island.

"It's been a tremendous team effort to design, build and launch the AC72. We are looking forward to valuable training time on the Bay in the coming weeks," said team CEO Paul Cayard in a news release.


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The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL-750) returned home to Alameda about 10 a.m. on Veteran's Day. The vessel and crew had been out at sea for 144 days. Most crew members were out on deck when the cutter passed along the Alameda-Oakland Estuary early Sunday in calm conditions.

The nation's first National Security Cutter left Hawaii on June 20 to participate in the world's largest naval exercise, Rim of the Pacific 2012. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, "RIMPAC's mission is to increase interoperability between Pacific Rim armed forces to promote stability and prosperity around the world." There were 22 countries involved in the naval exercises, which included maritime interdiction and vessel boarding.

As the primary cutter in support of Operation Arctic Shield, Bertholf staff conducted community outreach and increased maritime safety and security in the Arctic Circle, the U.S. Coast Guard says. In the Bering Sea, crew engaged in marine-resource enforcement and conducted 12 boardings of red king crab fishing vessels.

"We pressed the multimission capabilities of the National Security Cutter in the world's largest maritime exercise, in the harshest of maritime environments in the Arctic, and in the Bering Sea ensuring regulation and safety of the Deadliest Catch Crab fleet," said Capt. Thomas Crabbs, commanding officer Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, in a statement. "The ship and crew performed in superb fashion over an extended and challenging period."

Back on land, the Alameda Free Library is presenting several special events this month. Writer Ji-Li Jiang will visit the Main Library at 2 p.m. Sunday to discuss her book "Red Scarf Girl," which is about Jiang's memories of the Cultural Revolution in China. And at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, a discussion on the five airfields that called the Island home before the Naval Air Station will take place. Also, an artist reception for Gary Bukovnik is set for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 28.

Janet Levaux also writes the Alameda Journal Blog at www.ibabuzz.com/alamedajournal.