Ahead of next year’s America’s Cup in New Zealand, INEOS TEAM UK has finished sailing in the UK and has been relocating the entire team to New Zealand. Led by Sir Ben Ainslie, they are aiming to make history by being the first British team to bring the Cup back to British soil in its 170-year history.
The first AC75, Britannia I, made its way to Auckland by ship, while the second, Britannia II, was delivered on a cargo plane at the end of September in a 11,000 mile journey that took four days and two stopovers. After arrival at the newly constructed INEOS TEAM UK base in the Viaduct, Auckland, the final fit out will be completed ready for her launch and maiden sail this month.
Many of the team were already in New Zealand, and the rest, including Ben Ainslie, followed last month. After the mandatory two-week quarantine period, the team will be on the water with Britannia II this month. This gives the team two months training time before the Christmas regatta, the first time all the teams will have lined up together in a race environment.
Ben Ainslie explained: “Given this is such a new class of boat there may well be some big differences between the teams when we first line up against each other. For me, however, this Cup feels a lot like the 34th America’s Cup in 2013, in that the key to winning will be how quickly each team can develop, and keep developing, throughout the competition period.”
In further news, Garmin is supporting INEOS TEAM UK in their America’s Cup bid. The team will be using a range of Garmin technology, including the new fenix 6 Pro Solar smartwatches and Edge 1030 Plus GPS bike computers.
“We have spent years honing and testing our boat so it performs during the Cup, which would all be for nothing if the sailors on board cannot perform to their optimum,” said Giles Scott, Olympic gold medallist and INEOS TEAM UK crew member. “The Cup’s legacy is that ‘there is no second’, so there is no margin for error in our performance.”
Jon Oliver, managing director of Garmin UK and Ireland, said: “Whether they are training on land, in the gym or out on the water, our technology will give them the data they need to know that they are fit and ready to compete to win the America’s Cup.”
“When most people think of athlete performance, they think about race day, but all races are won through dedication before the event, which is especially so in high performance yacht racing,” said Ben Williams, head of human performance, INEOS TEAM UK. “The boat must be tested rigorously, and if the crew are not fit enough to be out on the water, the race is lost before we begin. Having the data to understand team health means they can be on the water as much as needed, and we can stop any issues in advance.”
“Performance is also key; much like how we hone and test the boat, we are always honing and testing our athlete training strategy. This America’s Cup we are leaning on a wealth of previous experience, so having constant data tracking will mean we are able to see this evidence in action and adapt as we go.”
17 – 20 December 2020: America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
15 January – 22 February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
6 – 15 March 2021: The America’s Cup Match