Sir Ben Ainslie delighted with new America's Cup test boat

Land Rover BAR have launched the third in their series of testing boats ahead of the America's Cup.

Friday, 15th April 2016, 6:00 am
Land Rover BAR sailing T3 for the first time off Portsmouth UK. Picture: Rick Tomlinson/Land Rover BAR

The rules only allow teams to build one full-sized 50 foot America’s Cup Class boat, but while the T3 looks like the finished product, it is in fact a few feet shorter than the finished article.

Land Rover BAR skipper Sir Ben Ainslie is extremely impressed with the latest design.

He said: ‘T3 is another fantastic piece of technology from our designers, engineers, shore team and key suppliers.

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‘It’s terrific to see the step changes we have made each time we launch a new boat.

‘This is a new team, but it’s growing up fast. Really fast.’

The rules also define much of the hull shape and structure, making wing and hydrofoil control systems one of the key technology battlegrounds.

Just as wire cable linkages between the accelerator pedal and the carburettor in cars have been replaced by sensors and electronics; aboard T3, the ropes previously used to control the sails have now been replaced by hydraulics and electronics.

Almost all of the team’s innovation and new technology is hidden deep inside this third boat on the long development path to the final race design for the 35th America’s Cup.

No one will be able to get the boat off of the dock without the password to the computer.

‘But when the tires are kicked, it’s time to fly.

Richard Hopkirk, who is head of Systems and Analysis at Land Rover said that T3 will be critical in the development of the finished article.

‘T3 takes us a step closer to the systems we will use on the final boat,’ he said.

‘The boat will allow us to test and develop across all the key areas that will impact our ultimate performance.’