BEN Ainslie Racing took to the water last week to carry out training for the America’s Cup.
The team were the first America’s Cup competitors both on – and under – the race course waters, during the initial training camp in Bermuda, ahead of the 35th holding of the cup in 2017.
Team principal and skipper Sir Ben Ainslie said: ‘It’s been great for the team to get out on the water, trying to learn about the venue, the wind direction, and the wave states in our 20 foot foiling training boats.
‘A huge amount has been learnt, and we can now go back to our design team and start working on developing the final race boat for 2017.
‘Bermuda is just the most beautiful island. The people are so warm and friendly and are really excited about having the America’s Cup here.
‘As a sailing venue it is a real challenge, it is such a tight course and the wind is really variable out here in the middle of the Atlantic.’
The objective of the team’s training camp was to learn the local conditions, and raise foiling skills.
Ben Williams, head of strength and conditioning said the team were worked very hard.
‘It’s almost been a military operation,’ he said. ‘Our fitness trainer is an ex-Marine and pushing us pretty hard in the morning and evenings.
‘Out on the water we have been sailing and training very hard – but bonding as a team, being away and really focusing on sailing and training.’
Sailing manager Jono Macbeth added: ‘We turned up here with preconceived ideas about everything, but it’s not until you actually step foot on the island that you get a feel for what’s going on.
‘It’s going to be completely different compared to the last cup where the wind direction was the same every single day. Here we have seen wind from just about every corner.
‘We’re just learning all the time. It’s invaluable that we are here, especially as the first team on this race course. It’s a statement that we are serious about the competition ahead of us.’