Land Rover BAR’s America’s Cup test boat ‘T1’ berths for the final time at the Classic Boat Museum in Cowes

Land Rover BAR 'T1' training on the Solent
© (c) Harry KH/Land Rover BAR

Land Rover BAR, the British America’s Cup Challenger and team to bring the Cup home, have donated their first test boat ‘T1’, a foiling AC45 catamaran helmed by Team Principal and Skipper, Ben Ainslie, to the Classic Boat Museum in Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. The museum took delivery of the platform this week, with a view to make the boat part of a display at the new museum in West Cowes, which is due to open in April.

T1 was the first of five foiling catamarans to be launched by the team - in October 2014 – and was used as a test boat for training sessions on the Solent, in the build-up to the team’s campaign for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda. The boat originally raced under BAR colours during the America's Cup World Series in 2012-13 and was used to break the Round the Island race record in 2013, before being modified by the team to fly on hydrofoils the following year. In May 2016, the team hosted a special guest on-board, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, who took the Helm to ‘fly’ in the Solent.

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge takes the helm on Land Rover BAR's T1
© Land Rover BAR/ Harry KH

Land Rover BAR have a dedicated end of life programme to repurpose and recycle all the team’s test and race boats. Alongside donating T1 to the museum, one hull of T2’s platform is on display at the team’s HQ, within the interactive Tech Deck and the team are working with ELG Carbon Fibre Ltd (ELG) and other partners to recycle/reuse the two final test boats, T3 and T4.

James Stagg, Land Rover BAR Head of Operations, on donating the boat to Museum, “The launch of T1 was a real moment and milestone in the team’s campaign and getting her on the water, foiling and reliable was a result of a huge amount of effort from all of the team.

The Royal Yacht Squadron is the Challenging Club of Land Rover BAR and Cowes is the home of the America’s Cup so for us it is really fitting that she will be on display, for all to enjoy at the new Classic Boat Museum."

Mark Mc Neill, Director of the Classic Boat Museum added, ‘We are so thrilled that Land Rover BAR’s ‘TI’ will be part of our museum in West Cowes. The new site will be opening in April and with over 50 yachts and motor boats on display TI will become the first America’s Cup boat ever to be put on display in Cowes, she will be the focus for a future ‘America’s Cup Exhibition ’. The Cup is such an important part of Cowes’ Heritage and the history of yacht racing itself. I would like to thank the team for their generosity and we will cherish her forever!”

Land Rover BAR 'T1' Training on the Solent.
© (c) Harry KH/Land Rover BAR

Background:
TI – background:
Built: Modified in 2014, the boat originally raced under BAR colours during the America's Cup World Series in 2012-13 and was modified to fly on hydrofoils
Length: 45 foot
Wing height: 24 metre
Number of crew: 5, helmed by Land Rover BAR Team Principal and Skipper, Ben Ainslie

Classic Boat Museum Cowes

Maurice Wilmot founded the museum in 1996. Today the museum is run by volunteers and has a Gallery at the Columbine building in East Cowes. A new museum location was donated by the Harrison Trust in West Cowes in 2016 allowing room for over 50 yachts and motor boats to be displayed in a large ship building shed close the Hammer Head crane site.

The aim of the museum is to preserve the marine heritage of Cowes through the display and renovation of yachts, and artefacts relating to shipbuilding, flying boats, hovercrafts and leisure sailing all of which was key to the life and history of Cowes. The Museum also has a large collection of artefacts relating to the America’s Cup and T1 will become a special part of the visitors attraction at the new site.