America's Cup 2021: Team profiles - INEOS Team UK

  • 01/01/2021


Chief executive: Grant Simmer (Australia)

Principal & skipper: Sir Ben Ainslie

Affiliation: Royal Yacht Squadron

Boat: Britannia

Key crew members: Giles Scott (tactician), Nick Holroyd (designer)

Considering the key part British sailors played in the creation of the America's Cup, it is perhaps surprising - and perhaps not - that proud seafaring nation has never held the 'Auld Mug'.

New York schooner America captured the original trophy with victory over British boats in the 1851 Isle of Wight race, and the silverware was renamed and rebranded for perpetual challenge.

The Brits tried fruitlessly for 132 years to prise the Cup away, until eventually Australia succeeded where they had failed.

Their best hopes currently sit with Ainslie, who is the most famous British sailor since Sir Francis Drake, winning medals - four of them gold - at five successive Olympics.

He formed Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) in 2012 to contest the America's Cup World Series, but withdrew from the competition, after they were accused of making unauthorised modifications to their loaned boats.

Sir Ben next set his sights on the 2017 America's Cup challenge off Bermuda, with sponsorship from Land Rover. The team won the world series, which carried points towards the challenger series, but they were eliminated in the semi-finals by Team NZ, which went on to lift the trophy.

Backed by multinational chemical company INEOS, hopes are high that 2021 will finally see the British raise the silverware, although early indications are that they lag far behind the other challengers and defenders.

TAB odds: $21