Scorpion RIBs has announced their continuing support for Sir Ben Ainslie as he starts the battle for the Americas Cup. Scorpion has provided chase boats to Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) team since they started racing in the Americas Cup World Series in August 2012.
This year a new 9.8m Scorpion is being built to work alongside BAR America’s Cup 45. In respect of his win, this specially designed RIB will be the Scorpion 98, pronounced 'Nine Eight', is named in recognition of the famous final Score. The RIB has been specifically designed to work with the AC45 and to be used in the Americas Cup World Series. This means it must be able to be transported to events in a shipping container.
The boat is based on the Scorpion 9.8m hull and will have twin 300hp outboards, allowing it to keep up with the AC45 and even the AC72. With a top speed of just under 60 knots, it accelerates from 0 to 40 knots in 6.2 seconds.
The new boat will be in BAR colours and is designed to come along side the AC45 for transfer of crew, equipment and for side towing (the 98 will have a bow thrusters to help with this). It will be fitted with a low-profile rubbing strake and fixing points for a larger fender to protect the AC45. It will also have strengthened location points for strapping the boat down in the shipping container to prevent damage in transit.
The deck is laid out to suit working with the AC45, with seating and storage for the task, and this is being specified by the team and will vary subject to the role each boat will undertake. This is the first of three (or possibly four) BAR chase boats designed to work with the AC45 in training and at racing events.