Ben Ainslie unveils new racing yacht in bid to win America's Cup
By PA Media
Last Updated: 04/10/19 3:10pm
A new racing yacht named Britannia has been unveiled by four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie in his bid to win the America's Cup.
The Ineos Team UK foiling yacht, which has taken 90,000 hours to design and 50,000 hours to build, has been christened in homage to the original Britannia, which was built in 1893 for King Edward VII.
The 72ft vessel was unveiled at the team's headquarters in Portsmouth by Ainslee, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe, chief executive of the Ineos chemicals group which sponsors the team.
Ainslie said: "This boat, this beast, has taken a phenomenal amount of effort to achieve, to design, and engineer and build.
"It's fair to say it's without doubt one of the most technologically-advanced racing yachts ever built - 90,000 design hours, 50,000 construction hours - in our world of yacht design, that is a massive effort.
"I'm hugely proud of the team's commitment to design and build our first race-boat; it's taken a serious amount of hard work and now we can't wait to get Britannia out sailing on the Solent."
Chief designer Nick Holroyd said: "This AC75 is the first foiling monohull of this size, it's unlike anything ever seen on the water before.
"It's hugely ambitious and it sets out an entirely new type of boat, and with only 18 months to design and build there comes challenges, but that's what makes the Cup so exciting."
Ratcliffe, who also sponsors cycling and football teams as well as a bid to break the two-hour marathon mark, said: "We have got ourselves involved in quite a few serious challenges.
"We have one tick in the box with the Tour de France - that went pretty well, that was quite nail-biting up to the end, which I suspect this will follow a similar course.
"They are all extraordinary challenges, winning the Champions League, breaking the two-hour, winning the America's Cup, these other sports weren't around 170 years ago, this has been the longest sporting challenge on the planet, this is an immense challenge."
The team will spend the coming months testing Britannia on the Solent before heading to Sardinia for winter testing ahead of the first America's Cup Series event in Cagliari in April.