Land Rover BAR launch America’s Cup race boat

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

Land Rover BAR has launched one of the fastest, most technically advanced craft on the water. Developed with Jaguar Land Rover engineers, the team and its crew have one aim: to win the America’s Cup, the world's oldest sporting trophy. The prize hasn’t been won by a British team in its 166-year history.

Launched in Bermuda, the boat was named 'Rita', a name Sir Ben Ainsle, the crew’s captain, has used throughout his career.

BAR shared the engineering skills used by Jaguar Land Rover to create its vehicles. Aerodynamic, self-learning car, artificial intelligence and virtual-modelling technologies are all helping the boat to go faster.

“This process of two-way engineering and our wider STEM programme across the business has enabled us to develop, learn and provide our capabilities to the BAR team,” said Tony Harper, director of research at Jaguar Land Rover. “From the success of this project, and with our knowledge of analysis and construction of light-weight vehicles, we have also supported the structural design of the daggerboards.”

Each light-weight daggerboard, the surfboard-like structure underneath the boat that allow it to fly and keep it stable when out of the water, needs to bear 2400kg, the equivalent of a new Land Rover Discovery, so their job on the boat is crucial.

Sir Ben Ainslie said: “It’s a great moment to see our race boat Rita hit the water in Bermuda. We’re a start-up team, and we had to build not just the boat but the design and engineering team, the facilities and the processes to get to this point today.”

The team has less than four months to make design tweaks and for the sailors to train on the water in Bermuda. The America’s Cup begins on 26 May 2017 with the first round of qualifiers. The winner will be crowned at the end of June. Land Rover BAR will be up against teams from USA, France, Sweden, New Zealand and Japan.

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