After one of INEOS Britannia’s best days on the water, the day was marred for the team with another structural issue on the rudder.
The LEQ12 T6, with Ben Ainslie and Giles Scott steering, was rocketing around the America’s Cup racecourse, eating up the miles and delivering the data that the Mercedes analysts back at HQ in the UK are craving.
This confident performance, with was marred with another structural issue on the repaired rudder after a series of two downwind nosedives that almost resulted in capsize with Ben Ainslie confirming:
“Reliability is going to be key so as you saw today we had an issue with our rudder again, that was the rudder that we fixed from the previous issue with some tow-testing and while it’s only a test boat and test rudder, it’s still good learning, really good learning going into the raceboat and trying to ensure that we don’t suffer those reliability issues.”
Asked what the issue is, Ben responded:
“We don’t know quite yet but some structural issues with the rudder and the rudder case, don’t know quite how bad it is yet, so we have to look into that, figure out what the fix is and how long it’s going to take.”
A disappointing conclusion to the day for a team making great strides forward with a very singular focus on the delivery of their AC75 and making sure that’s a boat capable of winning the Louis Vuitton Cup and going deep in the competition.
Ben reflected on the task ahead saying:
“If you look at all of the other teams, they’re pushing in every area because certainly when you look at Emirates Team New Zealand the gap between them and the other teams in the last Cup was pretty significant.”
“So if you think: ‘well they’re going to make another pretty significant jump’, the jump the rest of us have to make is pretty huge so you’ve got to look in every single area where you can, make it ideally big gains but even if there’s small gains they’re all going to stack up and count and that of course is the secret…”
Hopefully the rudder issue is a quick fix, and the positive momentum can continue for the British in the coming days.