LAND ROVER HELPS STEER SIR BEN AINSLIE’S AMERICA'S CUP CAMPAIGN

Images are for editorial use only, and not for promotional purposes.
  • Bespoke Land Rover steering wheel aboard Britain’s entry for 35th America’s Cup
  • Gear shift paddles cast in shape of Sir Ben Ainslie’s fingers for perfect fit
  • New design helps Land Rover BAR race boat R1 hit top speed faster
  • Britain’s quest to end 166-year wait for victory begins on 26 May 

Tuesday 2nd May 2017, Bermuda: Land Rover has combined technology from the new Discovery with unique personalisation to help Sir Ben Ainslie win the America’s Cup.

Engineers have created a one-off steering wheel with gear-shift paddles shaped to fit Sir Ben’s hands – giving the Olympic legend perfect fingertip control in his pursuit of the America’s Cup, the world’s oldest sporting trophy.

The wheel allows Skipper and Team Principal Sir Ben to ‘fly’ by adjusting the boat’s hydrofoils with greater precision for the fastest possible racing. He can lift R1, Land Rover BAR’s 2.4-tonne race boat, out of the water with a flick of his fingertips.

Just as an aerofoil helps a plane into the sky, hydrofoils lift a boat out of the water. The Land Rover steering wheel turns the boat left and right as it would on a car, while the gear shift paddles control its height above the water by controlling the lift from the foils.

Sir Ben said: “This is not just a great piece of design and engineering, but beautiful craftsmanship. The controls are intuitive and smooth, with just the right amount of feel and feedback. It really has made a difference to how I control R1.”

Land Rover’s Human Machine Interface engineers spent 18 months developing the wheel that will lift R1 above the water at speeds above 50 knots.

Tony Harper, Director of Research at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We have used our experience and technologies developed for the new Discovery and put it on to the race boat. 

“The paddle system we developed for Land Rover BAR has its roots in the steering wheel gear-change mechanisms our customers use daily. By adding personalised moulds of Sir Ben’s fingers we have provided a mechanism capable of lifting the boat onto its foils, increasing efficiency through the water and ultimately reaching top speed more quickly.”

Richard Hopkirk, Engineering Manager at Land Rover BAR, said: “Land Rover’s new easier-to-use controls are a reliable and innovative design concept, giving Sir Ben and the team a feature not seen before in the America’s Cup.

“This is the critical piece of technology on board – the connection between Sir Ben and the boat. I’m really grateful to the Land Rover engineers for working so closely with our team and leading the development of such an effective, efficient design”.

As Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series champions, Land Rover BAR head into the qualifiers for the 35th America’s Cup with a two-point head-start over the remaining challengers. The team begins its challenge for the America’s Cup on Friday 26 May against Artemis Racing of Sweden.

ENDS

For further information log onto www.uk.media.landrover.com or contact: 

Kim Palmer
Public Relations Manager, Land Rover UK
M: 07795 666 169
E: kpalmer@landrover.com

Tracey Tompsett
Senior Press Officer, Land Rover UK
M: 07469 032 064
E: ttompset@landrover.com

About Land Rover:

  • Since 1948 Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that represent true breadth of capability across the model range. Discovery, Discovery Sport, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque each define the world's 4x4 sectors. Land Rover products are currently sold in approximately 180 global markets.

About Land Rover BAR

Sarah Alexander, Land Rover BAR Press Officer
Sarah.alexander@landroverbar.com t. +44 7766 391 276 / +44 1489 587 838

Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) was launched on June 10th 2014 in the presence of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. The team was conceived by four-times Olympic gold medalist and 34th America's Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the long-term aim of challenging for Britain and bringing the America's Cup back home to where it all began in 1851. Sir Ben has developed and will lead a British entry capable of winning the prestigious trophy, something Britain has so far never managed to achieve.

Land Rover BAR is a commercial sporting team, with a number of individual private investors alongside corporate partners. The team is made up of some of the best British and international sailors, designers, builders and racing support.

Sports teams represent key role models in society. This privileged position is not taken for granted at Land Rover BAR. The team believe our influence should extend far beyond the race course, and have put sustainability at the heart of operations since launching the team with Exclusive Sustainability Partner 11th Hour Racing in 2014.

The team have built a new headquarters in the centre of Portsmouth, the 74,000 sq ft. building houses all the team's activities, and will welcome the public into its Tech Deck education centre.

The 1851 Trust is the team's official charity, and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is its Royal Patron.

LandRoverBAR.com #BringTheCupHome

Log in for more details

Click here to Login | Click here to Register
Abbey Road
Coventry
CV3 4LF
PR Contacts
Ken McConomy, Head of UK PR
Kim Palmer, Public Relations Manager
M: 07795 666 169 Follow @kimmyp1981 on Twitter
Tracey Tompsett, Senior Press Officer
M: 07469 032 064 Follow @TraceyLandRover on Twitter
Rebecca Wright, Press Officer
M: 07469 025 162 Follow @_Becky_Wright_ on Twitter
DOWNLOAD ALL VIEW ALL

Photos (7)

Land Rover helps steer Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup Campaign

Land Rover helps steer Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup Campaign

Land Rover helps steer Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup Campaign

Land Rover helps steer Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup Campaign

Land Rover helps steer Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup Campaign

Land Rover helps steer Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup Campaign

Land Rover helps steer Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup Campaign

Looking for more releases from Land Rover UK? Click here