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INEOS Britannia sets-sail

INEOS Britannia’s new race boat for the 37th America’s Cup has set sail for the very first time. The British Challenger’s AC75 took to the water in Barcelona with Olympic Gold medallists Sir Ben Ainslie and Giles Scott at the Helm on Wednesday 1 May.

INEOS Britannia, the British Challenger of Record representing Royal Yacht Squadron Ltd for the 37th America’s Cup, has been working towards this moment for over two-and-a-half years with team members in the UK and Spain working on the design, construction and development of the race boat, known as RB3.

After RB3’s arrival in Barcelona on 6 April, the INEOS Britannia systems and shore team worked tirelessly to install and check final elements to ensure she was ready to hit the water. A tow test was performed on Friday, 26 April, to check controls, systems, and sensors before the crew set sail today.

Speaking after stepping ashore from the first sail, INEOS Britannia Team Principal and Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie said: “This is a momentous day for the entire team. Everyone has worked incredibly hard to get us to this point and I want to thank all involved for their effort and commitment.

“After years of design and development, it felt amazing to be out on the Barcelona waters in RB3. We’ve spent a lot of time in our simulator recently, so it was great to be out there for real and putting all of our learnings into practice.”

Testing and training ongoing

INEOS Britannia
INEOS Britannia gets underway with training

While it was the first time sailing the new AC75 for all of the team, for some members it was the first time they had ever been on a foiling race boat. INEOS Britannia’s AC75 has estimated top speeds of 50kts and is powered by four cycling sailors, “Cyclors”, who have been training on road bikes for much of the last two years. Four out of eight INEOS Britannia Cyclors come from the world of Olympic rowing and are new recruits to the America’s Cup.

With under 115 days until racing begins, the Team will now focus on testing RB3 ahead of the Barcelona Preliminary Regatta on 22-25 August, where all six teams will race their AC75s against each other for the first time. The five challenging teams will then battle it out in The Louis Vuitton Cup (Challenger Selections Series 29 Aug – 7 Oct) to win the right to take on Defender Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup match (12-27 October).  On Saturday 18 May, INEOS Britannia will officially christen RB3 at her naming event in Barcelona.

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Copyright: © Ineos Britannia/C.Greorgy

Caption: INEOS Britannia gets underway with training