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America's Cup: Ben Ainslie updates after returning from Cagliari

by INEOS Team UK 23 Apr 2020 05:07 PDT 24 April 2020
Britannia is unloaded after returning from Cagliari - INEOS Team UK - April 2020 - Portsmouth UK © INEOS Team UK

Less than two months ago we had just returned to our winter training camp in Cagliari from Sydney. We were celebrating our team win in the first SailGP event of the season where we had some fantastic racing in Sydney Harbour and were looking forward to continuing our winter training camp in preparation for the 36th America's Cup.

We had been sailing our first AC75, Britannia, regularly and making great developments on the boat. Since then the shutters have come down on the world. It's been a very difficult situation for everybody.

As the crisis began to develop in Italy it quickly came apparent how serious it was going to be. With the health and wellbeing of our team members and their families being our top priority we made the decision to withdraw all sailing operations from Sardinia and ship Britannia back to Portsmouth. I am pleased to say she has since safely arrived back home.

With the team now back in the UK our preparations for the America's Cup next year continue. It certainly is a challenge but there is a tremendous amount of work still to do, not least the ongoing development and build of our second AC75. Suppliers are being affected by the crisis, as all businesses are, and we are having to re-evaluate our timelines and understand what we are up against.

This is a global pandemic and the entire INEOS family feels it is everyone’s responsibility to be hands on in this crisis by deploying resource and expertise to support the frontline where best we can. The work INEOS, for example, are doing in producing millions of bottles of hand sanitisers across Europe and distributing them free-of-charge to frontline staff has been inspiring to see.

We have a lot of expertise in manufacturing and production and we therefore felt the best way for us to support was the production of PPE face shields which will go direct, free-of-charge, to frontline staff in the team’s local area. In partnership with Mercedes-Benz Applied Science and Spinlock we are now producing around 1000 these face shields every week and it's been brilliant to see the whole team effort to make this happen so quickly.

Indeed, it has been heart-warming to see communities, teams and businesses come together to help fight this crisis. We will come through this and we will all be stronger for it. At times like these we all need a light at the end of the tunnel and, for us, that’s the America's Cup.

Stay safe,


To listen to Ben Ainslie's latest podcast click here

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