New British team to contest the America’s Cup
Sir Ben Ainslie has signed a new backer for his 2021 America’s Cup challenge.
Manufacturing and petrochemical company INEOS has formed INEOS Team GB and committed to spending £110m in an effort to bring the trophy back to Britain for the first time since the competition was established in 1851.
Sir Ben will lead the design and build boat programme and skipper the racing yacht.
INEOS Team GB will represent the Royal Yacht Squadron’s affiliated club, Royal Yacht Squadron Racing that issued the challenge to the current holder represented by Emirates Team New Zealand.
“The America’s Cup is one of the world’s most competitive yacht races and Britain has never won it, despite founding the competition over 150 years ago,” said Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS chairman. “With the team we have assembled, we believe we can get a fully competitive boat to the start line. After that it’s all down to the fine art of sailing. Ben is arguably the best sailor that Britain has ever produced so we should have a fighting chance of success.”
Two boats will be built – both 75ft foiling monohulls using the latest technology and boat construction techniques.
“This is an amazing boost for British sport,” said Sir Ben. “With this significant commitment from INEOS to fully fund a two boat challenge, Britain now has its best opportunity to bring the America’s Cup back home to Britain where it belongs.”
Grant Simmer will be the team’s CEO and chief designer is New Zealander Nick Holroyd. British Olympic gold medalist Giles Scott will be tactician.
The 36th America’s Cup will take place in 2021.
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