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‘Hard work starts here’ for Land Rover BAR

Land Rover BAR achieved another milestone with the launch of the first new America's Cup Class foiling catamaran in local waters yesterday.

Georgie Ainslie, wife of Land Rover BAR skipper and principal Sir Ben Ainslie, officially christened the British Challenger's boat “Rita” before the traditional breaking of a sacrificial bottle of champagne over its port bow.

The multihull racing yacht was then hoisted by a crane into the water fitted with all but its top secret hydrofoils, the appendages which lift the boat out of the water enabling it to reach speeds once thought unimaginable for a sailboat.

“Today is a big deal for us launching the boat,” Ben Ainslie, the four-times Olympic gold medal-winner, said.

“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.”

Land Rover BAR's AC Class boat, sailed by a crew of six, is the culmination of 85,000 hours of design and build, on the water testing and painstaking construction.

“The America's Cup has always been a design race as much as a sailing race and what we're launching today is the culmination of two-and-a-half years of flat out work from our designers, boat builders and our shorecrew, and all the guys who've been out there in our test boats,” Ainslie added.

“To a certain extent we've been playing catch up with the teams which have carried on since the last America's Cup and we've seen that in the test boats.

“But the ACC boats are another big step up and we're very excited about ours going into the water with a lot of the new upgrades in terms of systems, dagger boards — the areas that are key performance differentiators.

“The next few weeks and months are going to be a fascinating period.

“Once you put in all that effort, over 85,000 man hours in total on the design and build, into the water you're locked in to what you'll be racing with and as the other teams launch their own boats, this is going to be very interesting.”

Land Rover BAR was launched in June 2014 and is made up of some of the best British and international sailors, designers, builders and racing support.

The team was conceived by two-times King Edward VII Gold Cup winner Ainslie, who was a member of Oracle Team USA's team that successfully defended the “Auld Mug” in San Francisco in 2013.

Champagne moment: Ainslie christens the British Challenger's boat, “Rita” with his wife Georgie and daughter Bellatrix at Dockyard (Photograph by Colin Thompson)

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Published February 07, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated February 06, 2017 at 9:18 pm)

‘Hard work starts here’ for Land Rover BAR

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