Sir Ben Ainslie’s INEOS Team UK finally released the much anticipated video of their recently launched AC75, Britannia, foiling on the waters of the Solent off the south coast of the UK.
Following the snippet released earlier, Britannia is shown sailing fast and smoothly, their chase boat flat-out to keep pace with them.
No footage of tacks or gybes is included, the video concentrating on showing-off the speed and steadiness on a flat Solent sea, on her first sail.
Launched just over a week ago at the team’s Old Portsmouth base, Britannia is the British team’s first version of an AC75 rule boat for the 36th America’s Cup, due to take place in Auckland New Zealand in early 2021.
Following intial sailing trials on the Solent, the British team is expected to move to Cagliari, Sardinia, in December to prepare for the first event of the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) in April 2020.
This will be the first meeting of the four AC75 boats so far built by the teams. The fourth challenger, Stars & Stripes Team USA, has yet to confirm their participation, and have not yet launched their first boat.
This will leave only ten months between Sardinia and the start of the Prada Cup event in Auckland, New Zealand. Before that event there is also the possibility of several ACWS events (see below) and the ‘Christmas Race’ in Auckland in December 2020.
This allows very little time for the teams to complete their second boat – which can be launched after 15 Feb 2020 – incorporatiing any changes they decide on following the testing and their performance in Cagliari, and then relocate to New Zealand.
The Prada Cup, the Challenger Selection Series for the 36th America’s Cup, will take place in Auckland in January-February 2021.
This round robin series will determine which team will get to compete against the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, in the America’s Cup Match from 6 to 21 March 2021.
Ben Ainslie has hinted at the possibility of there being an ACWS event at Portsmouth, UK, during 2020, but no decision has been announced by the defender and the challenger of record (Luna Rossa).
Following the successful events on the Solent for the last America’s Cup, it would be very attractive for the teams, especially from a world-wide media point of view, to race on the waters of the birthplace of the event again.