America’s Cup: British reveal their LEQ12
Published on October 27th, 2022
(October 27, 2022) – Teams for the 37th America’s Cup are allowed to build only one AC75 race boat. There are no second chances, so the British America’s Cup team INEOS Britannia hopes the 40-foot test boat they launched today will play a vital role in the team’s program through to the next America’s Cup in 2024.
Code-named T6, they will commence with an extensive testing period from the team’s new base in Palma de Mallorca, primarily aimed at validating their design tools and testing key componentry ahead of the design deadline to start the build of the team’s AC75 race boat.
The Protocol allows teams to have LEQ12 yachts, which translated means a boat that is ‘less than or equal to 12 metres’. While entrants are required to buy the new AC40, which was created by the New Zealand defender for testing and training along with use in the Youth and Women’s America’s Cup, both the Italian and British campaigns have gone a step further by developing their own LEQ12s.
“There are three key reasons why we built T6 and they’re probably all equally valid,” explained Ben Ainslie, INEOS Britannia CEO and Skipper. “Firstly, we have this new partnership with Mercedes-AMG-F1 Applied Science. It’s a big deal trying to bring two design groups together and define common working practices and everything else that goes into designing a successful America’s Cup boat.
“We had the opportunity to do a dry run with T6 before we design and build the race boat for the Cup, and it was really important to us to take that opportunity. It’s highlighted a number of areas where we’ve been able to modify our approach and the overall structure of the team for the better.
“Secondly, we came out of AC36 lacking confidence in our design tools. Ultimately, we made key design decisions in the last Cup using our design tools and our simulation, and they weren’t accurate enough. This was borne out in the end result, across our hull, foil designs and performance.
“T6 is a fantastic opportunity for us to be able to validate our design tools and have more confidence in them, as we go into designing the key components for the race boat for Barcelona.
“Lastly, while it’s fantastic to see Emirates Team New Zealand put out the AC40 — and that boat will undoubtedly get a huge amount of use both as a testing platform and a racing platform — we wanted to control our own destiny. We wanted full control over our own testing platform and not be reliant on a third party to provide that platform, so we had control over our testing strategy.”
T6 was built at Carrington Boats in Hythe, at the same site where the original ‘Empire’ Flying Boats were built back in 1937. The new age flying boat was then transported to Brackley, UK, the home of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team for its fit out.
“We are one team as INEOS Britannia, bringing together AC and F1, to create this team is a massive investment from both parties,” Ainslie added. “We see this as a long-term partnership and we are grateful to be part of the INEOS wider sports group, to be able to tap into the expertise from several sports, including cycling. It is an incredible opportunity.”
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. The 37th America’s Cup will be held in September/October 2024.