The America’s Cup is the pinnacle of sailing; a competition involving the world’s best crews and the best boats to make for a great sporting spectacle.
With this event being so historic and well-known, Land Rover has teamed up with Ben Ainslie Racing to form the Land Rover BAR team.
The relationship pairs Land Rover’s technological knowhow – to improve the ship’s design and structure – with Sir Ben Ainslie’s sailing team, some of the best sailors in the world, which includes Ainslie as the team’s skipper.
Land Rover BAR’s Chief Executive and former Formula 1 team principal Martin Whitmarsh brings his expertise from the racing circuit to help improve the team in an engineering and design aspect, so that the boat’s aero- and hydrodynamic features can be as efficient as possible.
The team’s boat, code-named ‘R1’, is a multi-hulled catamaran weighing over two tonnes and can reach speeds in excess of 50 knots. This speed is thanks to a special technique called ‘foiling’ where the boat lifts out of the water, so only the hull’s hydrofoils are in the water, reducing drag and increasing the efficiency and speed of the ship.
The main area of Land Rover’s work is focused on the development of the ship’s ‘hard sail’ or ‘wing’ that is almost 80ft in length, the same as a Boeing 737’s wing.
The wing provides the only thrust for the boat, as they aren’t allowed any type of motor to aid the speed of the ship.
Land Rover is also providing technical support thanks to their vast data processing ability and advanced ‘Machine Learning’ knowledge, so that the boat’s performance can be enhanced by identifying trends in the sailing data.