Frustrating first day of racing for INEOS TEAM UK in America’s Cup World Series

The first day of racing in Auckland for INEOS TEAM UK in the America’s Cup World Series did not go to the team’s plan with problems in the foil cant system (FCS), a one-design supplied part.

The team was looking forward to the start of racing with a 14-18 knot breeze welcoming the four competing teams on the Hauraki Gulf.

Before racing started, however, the team was forced to delay docking out due to a valve driver board malfunction in the FCS. The team quickly replaced it with a spare supplied system, only for it to overheat ahead of the first race against American Magic. After another set of repairs, made on the water by the engineering team, BRITANNIA made it to the start line with a matter of seconds to the start. The AC75 boat, however, proved difficult to manoeuvre, causing a nosedive.

The second race of the day, against Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, saw the FCS battery shut down completely, and INEOS TEAM UK retire from racing.

BRITANNIA being prepared to be towed home after a frustrating day on the water
© C.GREGORY / INEOS TEAM UK

Speaking once safely ashore Team Principal and Skipper Ben Ainslie said:

“We had issues with the ‘one design’ supplied foil cant system. We tried to race but ultimately the battery failed. We did not have control of the boat all day.

“It’s clear that the teams need to come together and fix this (the FCS). With the amount of time and energy that goes into these campaigns it is certainly frustrating to lose a day’s racing. This could happen to any team, but it would be a lot worse if it happened to someone in the Challenger Series or the Match itself. We all need to come together to resolve this.

“Earlier in the campaign there was a problem with the supplied foil arms and all the design teams worked together to solve that. Let’s hope we can do the same to solve the FCS.

“It was a challenging day, but we will regroup and hopefully have a better day tomorrow.”

INEOS TEAM UK Trimmer and two times America’s Cup winner Joey Newton summarised the day:

“As we all know in sport it does not always go your way. We need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get back on with it”.

The INEOS TEAM UK team will work through the night to attempt to repair the issue and hope to make it out back out on the water for Day 2 of the America’s Cup World Series tomorrow when the team are scheduled to race twice against the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand.