INEOS Britannia, have launched their AC40, the yacht they will use to race in the initial Preliminary Regattas for the 37th America’s Cup. The initial work of the British AC40 will primarily be for the sailing team to sharpen their sailing and race techniques.
The Team have formally named their AC40 Athena after the Young goddess of wisdom, warfare & practical skills, famous for protecting heroes on their adventures. The aptly named Athena, will also be used by Athena Pathway when they represent Britain in the Youth and Women’s America’s Cup Regattas. Read more on the Athena Pathway programme here.
The AC40 is a formidable opponent on the water, capable of reaching high speeds and manoeuvring with agility and precision. The 37th America’s Cup rules designate the AC40 as an LEQ12 (or ‘LEngth EQivalent 12metres) , a type of boat which the rules allow for testing and training. The AC40 Class was developed by ETNZ and is one-design. This means that it must comply with an extra set of strict rules that are designed to make the AC40 class boats all the same in performance. It’s possible to modify the boat, for instance to test different components like foils or sails, but everything has to be returned to match the prescriptions of the one-design rules before they can be raced in the preliminary America’s Cup regattas or the Youth and Womens AC events .
The first and second AC40s to be launched were both ETNZ’s, and the Kiwis have been sailing them in Auckland. Alinghi have just launched their AC40 in Barcelona, the third to go into the water. Learn more about AC40s from the America's Cup here.
Since September 2022, INEOS Britannia have been based out of Palma. Operating from their winter training camp, where they have built a temporary base operation as part of their preparations for AC37. From here they have been sailing a test boat code-named 'T6'. The last five months have been an extensive testing period for the team. Primarily aimed at validating the team’s design tools and testing key componentry ahead of the design deadline to start the build of the team's AC75 race boat.
T6 is currently in an pre-planned upgrade period and under repair after capsizing last week. Whilst T6 testing has paused the launch of Athena is well-timed as the British challenge for the America’s Cup continues.