Auckland, Newzealand

It’s On as British America's Cup sailing team relocates to Auckland

Sir Ben Ainslie and his mates are undergoing a mandatory 14-day Covid-19 quarantine in an Auckland hotel.

2020-10-01 11:20:00 PM

It’s On as British americascup sailing team relocates to Auckland NewZealand | IOLsport RCYCSailing INEOSTEAMUK

Sir Ben Ainslie and his mates are undergoing a mandatory 14-day Covid-19 quarantine in an Auckland hotel.

Defending champion Emirates Team New Zealand and the three challengers were set to sail their radical sloops for the first time last spring but America’s Cup World Series preliminary regattas in Italy and England were cancelled due to the pandemic.Their first competition in the new boats will be the Christmas Regatta Dec. 17-20, which would have been the third ACWS regatta. The Prada Cup for challengers is set for January 15-February 22, with the winner advancing to face Team New Zealand in the 36th America’s Cup from March 6-21.

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Ainslie said it will be 10 days to two weeks before the boat is ready to be splashed. For now it’s being called RB2 — race boat 2 — until it is christened and named. Ainslie said a lot of structural testing was conducted in the shed in the UK.The team is sending its first race boat, Britannia, to Auckland via ship to have as a backup in case there’s a catastrophic failure or collision that damages RB2.

Ainslie, 43, the most-decorated sailor in Olympic history with four gold medals and one silver, helped Oracle Team USA stage its remarkable comeback to beat Team New Zealand in the 2013 America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay.He then formed a British team for the 2017 America’s Cup. It lost to Team New Zealand in the challenger semifinals.

While Ainslie has hoisted the America’s Cup in victory, no one has hoisted it in victory on behalf of England. The schooner America won the trophy that would bear its name by beating a fleet of British ships around the Isle of Wight on Aug. 22, 1851. Read more: IOL News »

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