America’s Cup: Britain launches Cup boat
Published on October 17th, 2020
Auckland, New Zealand (October 17, 2020) – INEOS TEAM UK christened their America’s Cup race boat Britannia from the team’s base in Auckland, three months before the start of racing for the 36th America’s Cup.
Britannia, the team’s second AC75, pays homage to one of Britain’s most famous racing yachts as INEOS TEAM UK seek to become the first British team ever to win the America’s Cup.
“Today marks a landmark moment for all of us”, said Team Principal and Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, “a huge amount of hard work and dedication has gone into designing and building this race boat, including over 90,000 design hours and 46,000 construction hours.
“This is a big step forward for us as a team and we can’t wait to get out on the water in the Auckland Harbour. The coming months will be an intense time, as we will need to make every second out on the water in this new boat count to get the full potential out of her by the time we start racing in the America’s Cup World Series this December and beyond, but we are all looking forward to taking on this challenge of a lifetime.”
Britannia is a significant evolution from the team’s first AC75 with noticeable changes to hull shape and deck layout.
“The biggest change from RB1 is simply that the fundamental capabilities of our design group have evolved immeasurably over the past two years,” said INEOS TEAM UK Chief Designer Nick Holroyd. “This boat is on time, perfectly on weight, and the detail of the fit out and systems is immaculate. That is a real credit to each team member involved.
“Since developing the first boat, the race area and the condition limits have been clarified, and we have had time to sail and test the dynamics and loads. That has made the focus of the design team much clearer and enabled us to design and engineer finer tolerances. On top of that, having a crew that has now sailed an AC75 in RB1 makes us much more dialed in with the end users, the sailors, and enables us to be more specific to their set of requirements.
“This is an incredibly exciting class of boat at the bleeding edge of our design field, we feel incredibly lucky to be involved in these types of projects.”
From the historic challenges of Sir Thomas Lipton through to Sir T.O.M. Sopwith and more, the ‘Auld Mug’ has evaded British hands for 170 years ever since the yacht America won the first edition of the regatta in 1851 and took the famed trophy off of British shores.
The America’s Cup is the world’s oldest international sporting trophy, predating the modern Olympic Games by 45 years and being older than both the FA Cup and the Ryder Cup. The first America’s Cup even took place 35 years before the car and 52 years before the inaugural flight of the Wright Brothers.
INEOS TEAM UK will now be sailing Britannia in the Auckland Harbour for the coming months before the team’s first regatta and first opportunity to race against the other teams, the America’s Cup World Series Auckland on December 17-20.
36th America’s Cup
In addition to Challenges from Italy, USA, and Great Britain that were accepted during the initial entry period (January 1 to June 30, 2018), eight additional Notices of Challenge were received by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Of those eight submittals, entries from Malta, USA, and the Netherlands were also accepted. Here’s the list:
• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• INEOS Team UK (GBR)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT) – WITHDRAWN
• Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA)
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDRAWN
Of the three late entries, only Stars+Stripes USA remains committed, however, it is unclear what entry payments have been made, nor is there knowledge of a boat being actively built or sailing team assembled.
Key America’s Cup dates:
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
✔ March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
✔ June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
✔ August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
✔ August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
✔ November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
✔ March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ 2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series events (CANCELLED)
✔ October 1, 2019: US$1million late entry fee deadline (NOT KNOWN)
✔ February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ April 23-26, 2020: First (1/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia (CANCELLED)
✔ June 4-7, 2020: Second (2/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, England (CANCELLED)
• December 17-20, 2020: Third (3/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
• January 15-February 22, 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
• March 6-15, 2021: The America’s Cup Match
Youth America’s Cup Competition (CANCELLED)
• February 18-23, 2021
• March 1-5, 2021
• March 8-12, 2021
AC75 launch dates:
September 6, 2019 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1
September 10, 2019 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2, 2019 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4, 2019 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1
October 16, 2020 – American Magic (USA), Boat 2
October 17, 2020 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 2