America’s Cup - Sport

British team suffer setback after dock crash

  • Team Land Rover BAR, warm up on the Great Sound (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Land Rover BAR suffered a setback after a routine docking proved anything but.

Following a practice sail in the Great Sound, the British challenger’s America’s Cup Class foiling catamaran collided with a mobile dock at their Royal Naval Dockyard base.

BAR’s AC50 caught a gust of wind and accelerated before ramming the mobile dock, which is designed to rotate to enable the boat to be turned into the wind.

They are the first team to crash their boat, just weeks after becoming the first to launch an AC50 in local waters.

The extent of damage to BAR’s boat remains undetermined. In any case, the AC50 is equipped with replaceable bow sections for incidents such as this.

Land Rover BAR are one of five challengers that will compete in a series of qualifiers for the right to meet defender Oracle Team USA in the 35th America’s Cup Match.

The team will face Swedish challenger Artemis Racing, led by British Olympic gold medal-winner, tactician, and team manager Iain Percy, in their opening qualifying match on May 26.

Comprised of some of best British and international sailors, designers, builders and racing support, Land Rover BAR were launched in June 2014.

The team were conceived by Sir Ben Ainslie, the four-times Olympic gold medal and two-times King Edward VII Gold Cup winner, who won the 34th America’s Cup as a tactician with Oracle in San Francisco in 2013.

Land Rover BAR are bidding to become the first British team to win the “Auld Mug”, which left British shores in 1851 after the New York Yacht Club schooner, America, beat the best the British had to offer in a race around the Isle of Wight.

BAR are the first British team to enter America’s Cup since 2003 when White Lightning were eliminated in the semi-final round of the Louis Vuitton Cup.