By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
The Ineos Britannia sailing team, led by Olympian Ben Ainsley, have partnered with Mercedes F1 in a bid to win the next America’s Cup sailing competition.
Ineos were eliminated in the Challenger Series in this year’s 36th Cup.
Ainsley has commented:
“We need to take it to the next level to take on the mighty kiwis, the All Blacks of sailing.”
And the owner of Ineos, Jim Ratcliffe, has added:
“What we learned in New Zealand is we had a sailing team capable of winning the America’s Cup but the boat wasn’t good enough. If we don’t have a boat ….. that’s capable of winning, it’s like putting Lewis Hamilton in a slow car.”
Ainsley and Ineos are hoping that, combined with Mercedes F1 technology, involving aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, and the expertise of their sailing team, they can win the next edition of the Cup in 2024.
It will be interesting to see if these hopes are fulfilled.
The question, however, may be asked, with such advanced technology, where do sailing skills and seamanship come into the equation?