The Land Rover BAR R1 catamaran was launched in Bermuda in preparation to compete against teams from around the globe for the America’s Cup, the world’s oldest sporting trophy.
Sir Ben Ainslie’s wife Lady Georgie and their baby daughter Bellatrix christen the boat Rita, a successful name used in the past by the Land Rover BAR skipper Ainslie.
“It’s a great moment to see our race boat Rita 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, said Sir Ben Ainslie in a statement.
“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.”
The crew has less than four months to make design tweaks and train on the water near Bermuda for the big race.
“The America’s Cup has always been a sailing and design race and the boats have developed from ropes and winches to more technical machines which will fly out of the water at up to 60 mph,” said Martin Whitmarsh, Land Rover BAR CEO.
“This complex design requires the latest engineering skill and insight, allowing automotive brands to make a significant impact in the design race – very much like in F1.”
The America’s Cup qualifiers start on May 26, 2017 and the winner will be announced at the end of June.