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Pivotal moment for INEOS Britannia as AC75 arrives in Barcelona

by INEOS Britannia 6 Apr 03:29 PDT
INEOS Britannia's AC75 completes 1,000 mile journey from Northamptonshire to Barcelona © INEOS Britannia

Its arrival in Spain follows two-and-a-half years of design, build and fit-out in the UK INEOS Britannia's race boat for the 37th America's Cup has made the 1,000 mile journey from its UK base in Northamptonshire to Barcelona, Spain.

The British Challenger's AC75 left Turweston Airfield on Tuesday 2 April and travelled by road to Portsmouth, where it began its sea crossing to Bilbao on a ferry. The race boat, known as RB3, was then transported by road to INEOS Britannia's Barcelona base, arriving on Saturday 6 April. INEOS Britannia Team Principal and Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie said it was "a relief" to have RB3 arrive in Barcelona.

"It's been a tense few days tracking the route of RB3 from a small Northamptonshire village to the busy city of Barcelona. The entire INEOS Britannia team and our partners have worked tirelessly to get us to this point, and so it's great to have RB3 arrive at its new home. Although it's a relief to have the race boat in Barcelona, the work doesn't stop. Our focus will now be on launching the boat and getting some good sailing hours in ahead of the preliminary regatta in August."

RB3's arrival in Barcelona is a pivotal moment for INEOS Britannia, after two-and-a-half years of design, build and fit-out in the UK. RB3 began its lifecycle with INEOS Britannia's design and engineering team, which is based at the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team site in Brackley, Northamptonshire. INEOS Britannia partnered with the F1 Team's Applied Science division to bring together some of the best talent from the high-performance marine and automotive industries for its America's Cup Campaign. The team of 100 designers and engineers painstakingly researched and tested concepts for the AC75, before the final design was sent to build.

The initial build took place at Carrington Boats in Hythe, Hampshire, which is where the team's boat for the 36th America's Cup was also built. The hull and deck were built separately at Carrington Boats before being joined together. Structural work then took place before an army of painters descended to brand the boat. RB3 then travelled to Turweston Airfield in Northamptonshire, where it underwent structural and load testing. The team at Turweston worked day and night to ensure RB3 was ready to begin its journey to Barcelona on 2 April.

In order to ensure the smooth transition of the 75ft race boat from the quaint Northamptonshire village, surrounded by rural roads, to the hustling bustling city of Barcelona, INEOS Britannia partnered with logistics specialists GAC Pindar, the marine leisure, sports and events division of GAC Group. Southampton-based GAC Pindar was pivotal in relocating the INEOS Britannia base from the UK to Palma, Mallorca, in Spring 2022 for its training camp before then moving it to Barcelona in 2023.

Dave Endean, Chief Operating Officer for INEOS Britannia, said: "It's been a huge team effort to get to this crucial moment. We have had great support from Carrington Boats, Turweston Airfield and GAC Pindar. It's now time for the next phase in our campaign and we are looking forward to getting RB3 out on the water in Barcelona."

Beth King, Operations Manager at GAC Pindar said: "As the official logistics partner of INEOS Britannia, we are transporting a wide range of the team's equipment in and out of the UK and Barcelona. Moving a 75ft race boat requires a huge amount of planning, which started a long time ago, and the way everyone involved has pulled together throughout this operation has been extremely satisfying to see. All of us at GAC Pindar are very proud to be a part of INEOS Britannia's America's Cup challenge."

The Louis Vuitton 37th America's Cup will take place between August and October 2024 in Barcelona. A preliminary regatta takes place on 22-25 August before the five challenging teams battle it out in round robin races to take on defenders Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton Cup Final. It promises to be one of the most intense America's Cups in the event's 174-year history.

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