Please select your home edition
Edition
Wessex Resins - Epoxycraft 2

Land Rover BAR launch race boat in Bermuda

by Land Rover BAR on 6 Feb 6 February 2017
Land Rover Bar launch America's Cup Race Boat R1 © Lloyd Images

The ambitions of Land Rover BAR to win the 35th America's Cup – and finally bring the trophy back home to Britain after 166 years – took solid form today, with the launch and christening of their America's Cup Class race boat in Bermuda.

The menacing, matt black boat represents the combined efforts across three years of the now 120-strong team and their partners. After the launch of four test boats, 85,000 hours of design and build, on the water testing and painstaking construction, the team has seen its efforts crystallised into the boat code-named R1.

Sir Ben Ainslie's wife Georgie and baby daughter Bellatrix appropriately smashed a bottle of English sparkling Nyetimber wine to christen Land Rover BAR's America's Cup Class race boat Rita – the name carried by all 19 of Ben's previous Olympic and world championship winning boats. With just 107 days to the start of racing, the team will continue with their intensive testing and development programme, which will now include 'in-house' racing against their test boat 'T3'.

The America's Cup has changed beyond all recognition in its 166 year history as both a sporting and design contest. In the first race, back in 1851 a fleet of big, traditional yachts sailed all the way around the Isle of Wight at speeds in single digit nautical miles per hour, crewed by dozens of men with nothing more technical than a compass, thousands of metres of rope, and the trusty block and tackle.

In 2017 in Bermuda, the 21st British Challenger for the America's Cup will race on a tightly defined course of just a few miles at speeds that could reach 60mph. There will only be six men onboard, the boat will fly over the surface supported by high-tech hydrofoils, and while there will be just 67m of rope on board, there will be 130m of hydraulic pipes, and over 1200m of electronic and electrical cabling connecting 190 sensors and four video cameras – all in a 15m boat! This is no longer just about naval architecture, the design and engineering war is fought on all fronts; systems, electronics, hydraulics, computers and software.

Ben Ainslie; Land Rover BAR Team Principal and Skipper, four times Olympic gold medallist and America's Cup winner:
"It's a great moment to see our AC50 Race boat hit the water in Bermuda. The launch represents the sum of all the team's efforts to bring the America's Cup home, and we're delighted to get her in the water here in Bermuda. We're a start-up team, and we had to build not just the boat but the design and engineering team, the facilities and the processes to get to this point today. There are just a few short months before the racing starts at the end of May, and we will be working very hard now on the final development and testing of this boat to make sure we are ready for the racing."

Richard Hopkirk; Land Rover BAR Engineering Manager:
"The design, engineering and build process for a boat of this complexity stretches back to the very earliest days of the campaign. Everyone in the team and all our partners have contributed to getting this boat ready here today, and we're all very proud of the achievement. The innovation, technology and attention to detail in the design and construction continue the America's Cup's traditions of the most advanced sailboats on the planet. We believe this is the most sophisticated and best prepared British challenger, with a total campaign design effort of 50,000 hours, and a construction effort of 35,000 hours for Rita."

On the same day, 11th Hour Racing Co-Founder Wendy Schmidt opened the 11th Hour Racing Exploration Zone at the team's base in Bermuda. This dedicated educational space brings to life critical topics around ocean health, sustainability, innovation and technology, with a series of creative displays. The ocean is our playing field and we want to preserve it: supported by Land Rover BAR's Exclusive Sustainability Partner, 11th Hour Racing, the Exploration Zone will inspire audiences to make a tangible and positive impact by reducing ocean plastics, learning about the power of the sun as a source of renewable energy, and understanding the devastating effects of invasive species, particularly the lionfish that infests Bermudian waters. Other exhibits highlight the team's sporting and design challenge, and the technology and innovations that enable the latest generation of wing-sailed, hydrofoiling America's Cup multihulls that fly.

Land Rover BAR are bringing this unique, inspirational experience to Bermuda as part of their ambition to be the planet's most sustainable professional sports team and to engage with a number of different audiences: local residents, tourists, sailing enthusiasts, media, families and school groups are all expected to visit. The 11th Hour Racing Exploration Zone can also be used as a classroom space dedicated to delivering lessons resourcing the team's online digital education programme, BT STEM Crew. Children from six local middle schools attended the opening, and were treated to lessons on invasive species and mechanisms along with a tour of the exhibits.

Wendy Schmidt, Co-Founder of 11th Hour Racing commented:
"With the 11th Hour Racing Exploration Zone, we hope to create a legacy lasting well beyond the 35th America's Cup. Through interactive displays, we focus on some of the concerns that are top of mind for all of us: which invasive species is creating havoc in the Atlantic Ocean? How widespread is the problem of ocean plastic pollution? We also look at bigger issues, such as what it means to have a circular economy and how we can accelerate the transition to the use of more renewable energy. We are thrilled to share this story with Land Rover BAR's fans, sailing and sports enthusiasts, the public, and we hope to capture their imagination and spark creativity and interest in our oceans."

The only place to catch all the action exclusively live from Bermuda this summer is on BT Sport, the official UK broadcaster of the Americas Cup 2017.

Related Articles

Land Rover BAR Academy search
For next generation of British America's Cup sailors Following their success in Bermuda last June, where the British team were crowned Red Bull Youth America's Cup Champions 2017, Land Rover BAR Academy is recruiting again to find and support talented young British sailors aged between 19-24 years old. Posted on 16 Sep
The World Sailing Show - August 2017
Secrets behind Team New Zealand's success, and more The secrets behind Team New Zealand's success. This month the World Sailing Show finds out why the Kiwis were so much faster than Oracle Team USA. Plus, new technology that gets you on board for the racing. Posted on 24 Jul
The Land Rover BAR Merchandise Sale
30% off - limited time offer! Up to 30% off Land Rover BAR merchandise for a limited time, including the Coll Dry Number 3 Tee, 2 Layer Team Jacket, Freedom Cap and Replica Jersey Tee. Posted on 18 Jul
Back from Bermuda
Grapefruit Graphics in the thick of the America's Cup action It's one of the most historic events in the world of sailing, and arguably the most prestigious trophy to be won within the sport, so there's no surprise the America's Cup provided us with one of the most exciting events of the year. Posted on 12 Jul
The World Sailing Show - July 2017
How the America's Cup was won and more This month's World Sailing Show comes from the heart of the 35th America's Cup, Bermuda where this beautiful mid Atlantic island put on a show like no other. Flying Cup boats, Superyachts, the J-Class and the Youth America's Cup pulled the crowds. Posted on 6 Jul
Henri Lloyd Sunday Journal
Celebrating Land Rover BAR Academy success Britain's Youth America's Cup sailors from the Land Rover BAR Academy have been crowned the 2017 Red Bull Youth America's Cup Champions in Bermuda. The British entry completed 12 races against 12 other nations on Bermuda's Great Sound to take the title. Posted on 25 Jun
Henri Lloyd proud of Land Rover BAR Academy
2017 Red Bull Youth America's Cup Champions Henri Lloyd, the world renowned market leader in technical sailing gear and premium lifestyle clothing, have been supporting the Land Rover BAR Academy and 2017 Red Bull Youth America's Cup Champions since the start of their campaign in 2016. Posted on 22 Jun
Britain's Land Rover BAR Academy win
Red Bull Youth America's Cup Champions Britain's youth America's Cup sailors from the Land Rover BAR Academy have been crowned the 2017 Red Bull Youth America's Cup Champions in Bermuda. The British entry completed 12 races against 12 other nations on Bermuda's Great Sound to take the title. Posted on 21 Jun
Red Bull Youth America's Cup Finals day 1
Fairytale start for TeamBDA but Land Rover BAR Academy dominate Day one of the 2017 Red Bull Youth America's Cup Finals belonged to Land Rover BAR Academy who sit on top of the leaderboard heading into day two after two second places and a first place in the three races on day one. Posted on 20 Jun
Bermuda's sailors are the story of the summer
In the Red Bull Youth America's Cup A group of young athletes from the small island of Bermuda have defied the odds in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup. They won the hearts of their country in the Qualifiers, and when the Finals play out the whole world may be under their spell. Posted on 20 Jun