Sir Ben Ainslie's British America's Cup Team launch race boat in Bermuda
Published: Tuesday, 07 February 2017
The Land Rover BAR has launched and christened on Feb 7 their America’s Cup Class race boat in Bermuda with the ambition to take the trophy back home.
(Photos: Land Rover BAR)
The menacing, matt black boat represents the combined efforts over three years of the now 120-strong team and their partners. After the launch of four test boats, 85,000 hours of design and build, on the water testing and painstaking construction, the team has seen its efforts crystallised into the boat code-named R1.
Sir Ben Ainslie's wife Georgie and baby daughter Bellatrix appropriately smashed a bottle of English sparkling Nyetimber wine to christen Land Rover BAR's America's Cup Class race boat Rita – the name carried by all 19 of Ainslie's previous Olympic and world championship winning boats.
"It's a great moment to see our AC50 Race boat hit the water in Bermuda,” says Ainslie, four times Olympic gold medallist and America's Cup winner.
“The launch represents the sum of all the team's efforts to bring the America's Cup home, and we're delighted to get her in the water here in Bermuda. We're a start-up team, and we had to build not just the boat but the design and engineering team, the facilities and the processes to get to this point today.
“There are just a few short months before the racing starts at the end of May, and we will be working very hard now on the final development and testing of this boat to make sure we are ready for the racing."
With just 107 days to the start of racing, the team will continue with their intensive testing and development programme, which will now include 'in-house' racing against their test boat 'T3'.
In Bermuda, the 21st British Challenger for the America's Cup will race on a tightly defined course of just a few miles at speeds that could reach 60mph.
There will only be six men onboard, the boat will fly over the surface supported by high-tech hydrofoils, and while there will be just 67m of rope on board, there will be 130m of hydraulic pipes, and over 1,200m of electronic and electrical cabling connecting 190 sensors and four video cameras – all in a 15m boat.