AC75 race boat Britannia christening

4 images

All images courtesy of INEOS Britannia

British challenger for America's Cup christens AC75 race boat Britannia

20 May 2024 • Written by Dea Jusufi

INEOS Britannia, the British challenger for the 37th America’s Cup, has christened its new AC75 race boat Britannia at an official naming ceremony in Barcelona. The event was led by INEOS chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe, and INEOS Britannia CEO and skipper Sir Ben Ainslie. 

More than 200 people gathered for the ceremony, including team members, their friends and families and senior representatives from INEOS, the Royal Yacht Squadron and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, whose Applied Science division helped design and develop Britannia.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Julia Ratcliffe, Romane Polli and Sir Ben Ainslie

Julia Ratcliffe and Romane Polli – the daughters of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his partner Catherine Polli – were appointed the "godmothers" of Britannia and christened the boat by spraying sparkling wine on the bow.

The name Britannia was chosen by Sir Jim Ratcliffe in homage to one of Britain’s most famous racing yachts, built by G.L Watson in 1893 for King Edward VII. King George V took ownership of Britannia in her later years and converted her into a formidable J Class racing yacht, with her lifetime record consisting of 231 race wins and 129 further podiums.

Read More/How modern monarchs are keeping the sailing tradition alive
Credit: G.L Watson & Co

Speaking at the launch, Sir Jim Ratcliffe said: "The America’s Cup has a long and rich history and continually sets the new standard in design, technology and innovation in racing. So, to be back as the British challenger racing Britannia - with all the legacy the name brings - is a real honour for the team. The challenge ahead is immense and one that I know the team will face with grit and determination."

Alongside the Mercedes F1 Team, INEOS Britannia have also drawn on experience from across the INEOS Sport group, including the INEOS Grenadiers cycling team, the All Blacks and now Manchester United, in support of the America’s Cup Challenge.

Sir Ben Ainslie added: "It’s brilliant to have so many people here to name Britannia and celebrate all the hard work that has gone into this campaign so far. INEOS Britannia is embarking on the challenge of a lifetime to be the first British team to win the America’s Cup. It’s wonderful to have Jim and his family here to name Britannia alongside friends and relatives of the team and we’re thankful to everyone for their support.”

INEOS Britannia is the first British team to compete in three consecutive America’s Cups since 1903.

Read More/The America's Cup: Everything you need to know about the sailing competition

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