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INEOS TEAM UK's new race boat for the 36th America's Cup heads to New Zealand

by INEOS TEAM UK 28 Sep 21:00 BST
INEOS TEAM UK America's Cup race boat being towed onto an Antonov cargo plane by the teams new prototype INEOS 'Grenadier' 4x4 at the start of its journey to Auckland, New Zealand © Lloyd Images / INEOS TEAM UK

The second race boat built by INEOS TEAM UK in their bid to win the America's Cup, sport's oldest international trophy, is bound for New Zealand.

The 75-foot race boat (code named RB2), that will race in the America's Cup from January 2021, was helped onboard an Antonov cargo plane by the team's uncompromising new prototype INEOS Grenadier 4x4, before being secured for take-off.

The precious cargo will now start a four-day journey to Auckland, New Zealand, where INEOS TEAM UK are ready for her arrival.

The journey to Auckland began on Friday 25th September from the team's base in Portsmouth, where the Union Jack hanger doors opened to reveal a wrapped boat ready for its 11,000 mile, two stopover journey on the 1987 Ukrainian Antonov cargo plane.

Once the race boat arrives at the newly constructed INEOS TEAM UK base in the Viaduct, Auckland, the final fit out will be completed ready for her launch and maiden sail in October.

Four times Olympic Gold medallist, America's Cup winner, Team Principal and Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie is currently in two-week mandatory quarantine in New Zealand and counting down the days until sailing operations begin.

"As a Challenger you're always playing catch up on the race boat design from the Defender who gets to define the rules. That's the game we chose to compete in, so we had to give ourselves maximum design and build time in the UK, which meant the Antonov was the only transport option. It's testament to the huge effort by the whole team to get RB2 built and delivered to New Zealand on schedule. We can't wait to get her out sailing!"

Project Director Dave Endean has overseen the build and safe transportation of RB2 to New Zealand.

"It's been a huge operation to get to this point and a real team effort.", said Dave Endean. "The logistics of moving an entire America's Cup team, including two AC75 boats, to New Zealand are not insignificant and it has taken a lot of time and hard work from the entire team to make it happen. It was an important milestone to get our race boat on the Antonov cargo plane today and I, and the rest of our team left in the UK, can't wait to join the team in New Zealand now and get sailing in the Auckland Harbour."

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