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INEOS BRITANNIA donate their America’s Cup race boat ‘BRITANNIA II’ to the Classic Boat Museum

The Classic Boat Museum is celebrating a fantastic new edition as the AC75 foiling monohull ‘BRITANNIA II’, Britain’s race boat skippered by Sir Ben Ainslie during the 36th America’s Cup held in Auckland in 2021, has arrived at her new home in Cowes, Isle of Wight.

The 75ft yacht, with a top speed of over 50 knots, will join the museums eclectic mix of 89 boats which also includes the original BAR T1 (Ben Ainslie Racing) America’s Cup foiling catamaran, used as a test bed for the 2017 Americas Cup in Bermuda, again gifted by Sir Ben and team to the museum in 2018.

Mark Mc Neil, Chairman of the Classic Boat Museum said, ‘It is a huge privilege for the museum to display this important yacht this summer which performed exceptionally well in the early rounds of the Prada Cup in February 2021. Britannia II joins our wide range of historical break through yachting exhibits and will be as significant addition to the Boat Shed allowing the museum to showcase the history of the exciting development of foiling boats and the British America’s Cup story. I would like to thank the team at INEOS BRITANNIA for this amazing donation’

Sir Ben Ainslie, Team principal, and Skipper of INEOS BRITANNIA added, ‘Showcasing the historical legacy of the America’s Cup is one of the goals of the Classic Boat Museum and we are delighted to again support them by donating BRITANNIA II, helping bring the America’s Cup story to life and leaving a legacy for the generations to come.’

The America's Cup - 170 Years of History – the background

Cowes is the historic birthplace of the America’s Cup. The challenge was first contested in 1851 with a race around the Isle of Wight and won by the schooner ‘America’ to claim the Hundred Guinea Cup for the American team. For 132 years America retained the Cup before Australia lifted the trophy from the Americans in 1983 in a breakthrough 12metre class yacht with wings on the keel.

INEOS BRITANNIA are ensuring that in a race where Queen Victoria was reminded ‘There is no second’ are preparing for 37th America’s Cup to be held in Barcelona as the challenger of record.

BRITANNIA– the story of the INEOS TEAM UK (now INEOS BRITANNIA) at the 36th Americas Cup

The 2021 Prada Cup was held in Auckland between 15 January and 21 February 2021. It was a competition to determine the official challenger. It started with a quadruple Round-robin tournament, to determine a seeding, which INEOS TEAM UK won undefeated.

The round-robin was notable for the capsize of American Magic in its fourth match and subsequent forfeiture of the rest of the round-robin races while the team effected major repairs. Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (2nd in the round-robin) went on to beat American Magic 4–0 in a semi-final series to advance to the final.

Luna Rossa then won the final series against INEOSUK by 7–1 – thereby becoming the official challenger for the America's Cup against defender Emirates Team New Zealand.

Team New Zealand won the best of 13 series by 7 races to 3. The Italian team won three of the first five races, but New Zealand won five straight to keep the title. This was their fourth victory, following earlier wins in 1995 and 2000. The turning point came in the eighth race, where New Zealand clawed back a four-minute deficit to win and take a 5–3 lead, just as their opponents looked to be drawing level in the series.

The Classic Boat Museum

The Classic Boat Museum in Cowes, Isle of Wight was established in 1996 by Maurice Wilmot.

Maurice died in 2009 but the Museum and Gallery continue to go from strength to strength. The fine collection of classic and unique craft and artefacts reflects the on-going care and dedication of the Trustees and of the committed team of volunteers over many years.

The aim is to increase awareness of maritime craft and showing their historic development and how this relates to the development of the Island and its marine heritage.

The Museum exhibits restored boats and associated artifacts, with records of the part played in their construction and design by companies and people of the Isle of Wight.

For further information, images and interviews please contact:

Mark Mc Neill, Chairman, Classic Boat Museum 07790 777101


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