REPRESENTING Royal Yacht Squadron Racing as the British challenger, Ineos Team UK has announced it will compete for the Auld Mug, in the 36th America’s Cup.
The sailing team, currently led by Sir Ben Ainslie, is currently competing on the GC32 Racing Tour and finished third overall at the recent GC32 Lagos Cup in Portugal.
Despite 21 past British challenges over 167 years, Britain has still not won the trophy.
The current winners – Emirates Team New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron – have accepted the British challenge.
Team principal and skipper, Sir Ben, said: ‘Since the last Americas Cup we have developed as a team, learning from the last campaign and making necessary changes.
‘We are now in a really strong position to challenge and I’m excited about the team’s prospects.
‘With the right people, the backing of Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos, it is now down to us as team to execute a winning campaign.’
Across the team there is a wealth of America’s Cup experience which includes 16 America’s Cup wins. The team’s CEO, America’s Cup legend Grant Simmer, leads the way having competed in ten America’s Cups, winning four. Sailing team manager Jono Macbeth is a three-times America’s Cup winner, with two-times winner Joey Newton having joined the team as a trimmer.
The America’s Cup started with a race around the Isle of Wight in 1851. The 36th edition of the Cup will take place in Auckland in 2021 and will be raced in a 75-foot foiling monohull, called the AC75.
Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos chairman, said: ‘The America’s Cup is one of the world’s most competitive yacht races and Britain has never won it, despite founding the competition over 150 years ago.
‘With the team we have assembled, we believe we can get a fully competitive boat to the start line.
After that it’s all down to the fine art of sailing.
Ben is arguably the best sailor that Britain has ever produced so we should have a fighting chance of success.’