America’s Cup: In pursuit of the prize
Published on May 18th, 2022
As the British America’s Cup challenger seeks to win the trophy it never has, here are some of their updates in pursuit of the prize:
• The team, INEOS Britannia, donated their AC75 foiling monohull BRITANNIA II which they competed with during the 36th America’s Cup held in Auckland in 2021. The recipient is the Classic Boat Museum in Cowes, Isle of Wight.
The team built two boats, and why they donated their best boat remains a mystery. The team has repeatedly ignored inquiries about the status of their first boat, and this now leaves them without a known quantity when the rules permit them to begin training in September 2022. Could the BRITANNIA I be in the chop-shop getting a makeover?
• When team owner Jim Ratcliffe’s beloved Land Rover Defender was discontinued, he created a car company and ordered the production of a model very obviously inspired by it. And, being British, he named it after the pub where the idea was hatched: The Grenadier. And because he can, Ratcliffe’s America’s Cup team is now marketing this function-first, no-frills machine.
• During their campaign for the 36th America’s Cup, the British team set up shop in Portsmouth and trained on The Solent, which proved to be both congested and cold. However, now having since moved their base to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team main facility in Bracknell, the sailing team was free to choose an alternative sailing venue.
With the 37th edition in Barcelona, INEOS Britannia will set up a winter training base in Palma, Mallorca, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. On-water testing will begin when permitted and continue until the team relocates full time to the 37th America’s Cup venue in Barcelona for their final push in their challenge for the Auld Mug.
“We looked at a number of venues around Europe and Palma was the clear winner,” said Dave Endean, INEOS Britannia Chief Operating Officer. “We had to select the location for our winter training a long time ago and before we had clarity on the final venue selection for the America’s Cup.
“Palma ticked all boxes with great facilities, short travel time from the UK and weather data that gave predictable year-round weather conditions, all of which will enable us to have significant hours on the water.”
Following the publication of the AC37 Protocol and AC75 Class Rule on November 17, 2021, the AC75 Class Rule and AC Technical Regulations were finalized on March 17, 2022. The entry period opened December 1, 2021 and runs until July 31, 2022, but late entries for the 37th America’s Cup may be accepted until May 31, 2023. The Defender was to announce the Match Venue on September 17, 2021 but postponed the venue reveal, confirming it would be Barcelona on by March 30, 2022.
Teams revealed to challenge defender Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
• INEOS Britannia (GBR)
• Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI)
• Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA)
• NYYC American Magic (USA)