INEOS Team UK, Team Principal and Skipper Ben Ainslie updates us on the move to New Zealand . . .
We have now finished sailing in the UK and are currently halfway through relocating our entire team to New Zealand.
Our first AC75, Britannia I, is already on her way to Auckland on a ship.
Our second AC75, Britannia II, is currently being fitted out before she too goes to Auckland on an Antonov cargo plane at the end of September.
Many of the team are already in New Zealand. Others, including myself, are due to head out in the next few weeks.
Once we get to Auckland, and through the mandatory two-week quarantine period, we are aiming to be out on the water in our new AC75, Britannia II, in October.
That will give us a two-month period of productive sailing before we head into the Christmas regatta, which will be the first time all these teams have lined up together in a race environment.
That will be a fascinating period and will be met with a lot of intrigue.
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.
We can’t wait to set sail in the Waitemata Harbour.
New Zealand is such a beautiful country and Auckland is fantastic place to sail. Ultimately, however, we are there for only one reason – to win the America’s Cup for Britain.
It won’t be easy, but we’re looking forward to the challenge ahead.