Drama for British America’s Cup team
Published on February 8th, 2023
When America’s Cup Challenger of Record INEOS Britannia retired its AC75 from the 36th America’s Cup, they put their training and testing emphasis on scaled-down boats that are permitted under the Protocol for the 37th America’s Cup.
The Protocol allows teams to have LEQ12 yachts, which translated means a boat that is ‘less than or equal to 12 metres’. INEOS Britannia used the opportunity to ramp up their design and build team, but their test boat, code name T6, had a bad day on February 8, 2023. Here’s the report:
Britain’s challenger for the 37th America ‘s Cup suffered damage to their T6 Test Boat after a capsize incident during a test day on Palma Bay, Mallorca in Spain.
Since September 2022, the team have been based out of Palma, for their winter training camp, where they have built a temporary base operation, as part of their preparations for AC37.
The capsize incident happened four hours into the test day after rounding up from a downwind course to an upwind course in 18 knots of breeze.
After initially lying on its side, T6 rolled over to fully invert in the water with mast and double skinned main sail submerged, work quickly began to get her back upright.
The shore crew and sailors worked together for over two hours and after initially righting T6 back on its side they were able to fully right the yacht. T6 was then side towed by support boat back to the team base, where a full assessment of damage is underway.
The team also faced further challenges when the lithium batteries, that powers the yachts systems, reacted to seawater ingress causing a fire on board. The response was well managed with specialist training coming to the fore to mitigate the damage.
INEOS Britannia Skipper and Team Principal Sir Ben Ainslie said, “It was a tough situation for the team once T6 fully inverted. Everyone came together well to resolve what could have been a much more serious issue in salvaging the yacht. Thankfully everyone is safe, and we can now focus on repairing the damage as part of a pre-scheduled upgrade window at the end of this week.”
Entrants are required to buy AC40s, and the Brits got their boat delivered in October and had planned to use it in February.
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 March 30, 2022. The 37th America’s Cup will be held in September/October 2024.
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)
• K-Challenge Racing (FRA)
Additional details: www.americascup.com/en/home
Source: ACE Barcelona S.L