Return to monohulls exciting time for Ainslie
More competition may be in store for Team New Zealand after the recently announced changes to the America’s Cup.
The return to monohulls could see a greater challenge from Britain’s Land Rover BAR. The team’s skipper Sir Ben Ainslie said he was excited the competition was reverting to the traditional approach.
“I am excited about the return to monohulls. Although I favoured sticking with multihulls — as in my view the racing out in Bermuda in May and June was spectacular and we, in common with a number of other teams, felt that continuity at this time would be good for the sport as a whole — I do not deny that this new class of boat can be similarly spectacular,” Ainslie wrote in a column for the Daily Telegraph.
In the column, Ainslie highlighted the ways in which the changes, including the new nationality rules, could benefit his team’s chances.
“A lot of the design and sailing team at Land Rover BAR have backgrounds — mine included — in monohulls and I know that it is going to be amazing to sail these new boats once they are built.
“Some aspects may prove more costly, such as the new nationality rule, which will require at least 20 per cent of the total crew to be ‘true nationals’ and the rest compliant with ‘residency rules’ [380 days living in the challenger’s country],” wrote Ainslie.
“The nationality rule actually suits Land Rover BAR from a competitive standpoint as most of our team and sailors are already British. But for teams who do not have the requisite skill set already residing within their country, it will be an added cost.” Ainslie admitted it will be a difficult task as he declared his intention to challenge for the Auld Mug in 2021. “The America’s Cup is the hardest trophy to win in world sport, and it’s likely that we will be travelling halfway around the world to compete on the home waters of the world’s most successful modern America’s Cup team.
“Team New Zealand have been in all six of the openly contested Cups since 1995, and they have won three of them.
“So we don’t underestimate the challenge — it is immense — but we will call on the very best of British technology and innovation through our partners, and use that British fighting spirit.”
Sir Ben Ainslie will call on the best of British technology for the 2021 America’s Cup challenge in Auckland.