Sailing-British, American challengers launch America’s Cup yachts

British challengers INEOS Team UK unveiled their second generation America’s Cup yacht in Auckland on Saturday, just 24 hours after fellow challengers American Magic launched their second boat and nearly capsized. The British AC75 foiling monohull, dubbed ‘Britannia’, had one significant difference from their first generation boat, with the addition of a crowded keel.

The crowds are intended to reduce the drag of waves and are designed to lift the boat out of the water and then reduce drag when it is torturing. “It looks like a rocket, let’s hope it sails like that,” skipper Ben Ainslie told reporters at the launch.

“We have to push the limits and I think we pushed it pretty… hard with this boat. “I don’t think we have much on the table and the whole team shares that philosophy, that we should go for it if we are going to win this thing.”

Britannia’s launch follows that of American Magic’s ‘Patriot’ on Friday, but the New York Yacht Club syndicate had some issues during their first trials on the Hauraki wave in Auckland. On Saturday, video footage emerged of the yacht nearly capsizing as it attempted a jibe at about 20 knots before slamming back into the water and stopping almost suddenly.

“We had a great dive, which was exciting,” said skipper Terry Hutchinson. “It was nothing that we haven’t seen or done on our other boats.” Italian syndicate Luna Rossa will launch their second-generation yacht on Tuesday, with the teams having only two months of further trials for a regatta that will also involve Team New Zealand’s team in December.

The challenger series will run from January 15 to February 22 next year, before the America’s Cup game against Team New Zealand starts on March 6.

News Highlights:

  • British challengers INEOS Team UK unveiled their second generation America’s Cup yacht in Auckland on Saturday, just 24 hours after fellow challengers American Magic launched their second boat and nearly capsized.
  • Sailing British, American challengers launch America’s Cup yachts
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