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INEOS Britannia launch ‘T6′ LEQ12 test boat

The British America’s Cup team, INEOS Britannia, launched their first LEQ12 test boat,on Thursday, for the 37th America’s Cup code-named T6.

It is designed and built-in collaboration with Mercedes-AMG F1 Applied Science, a division of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team.

The 40-foot test boat will play a vital role in the team’s programme through to the next America’s Cup, to be raced in Barcelona in the summer 2024. T6’s work will commence with an extensive testing period, 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.

James Allison, Chief Technical Officer of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas PETRONAS F1 Team, commented;

“We understand from our F1 experience the vital importance of creating the best suite of tools for designing and engineering the vehicle. We also understand the crucial role that validation plays in improving and coming to trust those tools. T6 has been designed for that purpose, and we’re all looking forward to getting to grips with the data she can provide.

“A huge thanks and congratulations to the team for getting T6 on the water, but in the Cup game we can’t rest on one’s laurels, the challenge has only just begun.”

Ben Ainslie, INEOS Britannia CEO and Skipper, stands in front of T6 in Palma de Mallorca, the team’s base for their Winter Training Camp – photo © C.Gregory/INEOS Britannia

Ben Ainslie, INEOS Britannia CEO and Skipper commented:

“We came out of AC36 lacking confidence in our design tools, we made key design decisions in the last Cup using our design tools and our simulation, and they weren’t accurate enough. In recent America’s Cup cycles we have seen a massive step up in design simulation. However, you must have confidence in those tools, and trust that they’re giving you accurate feedback. T6 will give us that development platform.”

T6 was built at Carrington Boats in Hythe, at the same site where the original ‘Empire’ Flying Boats were built back in 1937. The new age flying boat was then transported to Brackley, UK, the home of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team for its fit out. T6 has been a key to bringing together the two teams, defining common working practices between the worlds of America’s Cup and F1.

Ainslie added; “We are one team as INEOS Britannia, bringing together AC and F1, to create this team is a massive investment from both parties. We see this as a long-term partnership and we are grateful to be part of the INEOS wider sports group, to be able to tap into the expertise from several sports, including cycling. It is an incredible opportunity. A big thank you to Carrington Boats and everyone at INEOS Britannia for getting T6 out on the water.”

T6 will operate throughout the winter from the team’s new base in Palma de Mallorca. Live test data and results will be streamed back to the design, engineering and performance teams at the team’s UK headquarters in Brackley, where work is already underway on the research and design of what will become the team’s AC75 race boat, competeing for the 37th America’s Cup.

Ainslie concluded; “The America’s Cup and winning sport’s oldest trophy for Britain is one the toughest challenges around. We’re committed to getting the job done; the intensity, the technical challenge, the resources required, it’s phenomenal.”

About INEOS Britannia:

Backed by INEOS Founder and Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe and led by the most successful Olympic sailor of all time and America’s Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, INEOS Britannia is the Challenger of Record for the 37th America’s Cup. The British team, who will race for Royal Yacht Squadron Ltd, was formed in 2014 before joining forces with INEOS in 2018.

In challenging for a third successive America’s Cup, INEOS Britannia has much needed continuity, the cornerstone of every successful America’s Cup team. It will be the first time a British team has competed in three consecutive Cup cycles since Sir Thomas Lipton and the Royal Ulster YC bids between 1899 to 1930.

The America’s Cup, the pinnacle of yachting, was first contested in 1851 in Cowes, Isle of Wight and organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron, predating the modern Olympic Games by 45 years. The last British Challenger of Record to compete in an America’s Cup was the 12 metre, Sovereign in 1964.

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