Bruising final day ends a difficult weekend in Vilanova

The final day of racing at the first Preliminary Regatta of the 37th America’s Cup saw INEOS Britannia finish in sixth place overall.

Ahead of the weekend of racing in Vilanova i La Geltrú, Ben Ainslie admitted his team were heading into the weekend with limited training time in the one-design AC40 Race boat as the team’s strategy has been focused on designing, building, and testing a completely new test boat, T6. This limited time showed with the British team struggling across the race weekend.

INEOS Britannia CEO and Helm Ben Ainslie commented; “We are really frustrated with our performance, whilst we have focused our strategy on testing T6 and not the AC40 it’s still not acceptable for us to be at the back of the fleet. We clearly got the balance wrong, and we need to put that right.

“Despite the frustration, there are still positives to take away from it in terms of the learning and what is making a difference for our competitors in this boat and how we can improve for the next preliminary event in Jeddah, but also applying those techniques when we start sailing our AC75 Race Boat next year.

“Days like today are tough for the team and we now have to find the balance to improve in the AC40 regatta but also keep our development focus on the America’s Cup”

Back on the racetrack, American Magic and Emirates Team New Zealand qualified as the two boats for the Match Race Final with the Americans taking the victory after racing was stopped after the race time limit was reached.

The second preliminary regatta of the 37th America’s Cup will be held on the waters of the Red Sea in Jeddah, 30th November – 3rd December 2023