Taking Flight - Britain's America's Cup Challenge


Taking Flight - Britain's America's Cup Challenge

Behind-the-scenes access to Sir Ben Ainslie and his team as they prepare to try and win the America's Cup, sport's oldest international trophy.


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Transcript


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Absolutely superb from Ainslie.

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Sir Ben Ainslie has always lived to race...

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and to win.

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For 20 years, he dominated single-handed dinghy racing,

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becoming the world's most-decorated Olympic sailor of all time.

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His historic medal tally propelled him into the record books and

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won him a knighthood.

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Nobody will ever, ever forget that we were here when Ben

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became the greatest of all time.

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Now Ben has entered the biggest race of his life...

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..by attempting to win what many consider to be the ultimate

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of yacht racing.

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It's the world's oldest sporting trophy.

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The America's Cup.

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Today, teams from around the world battle it out in a series of

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gruelling races to go head to head with the current titleholder.

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The modern contest is a battle of cutting-edge technology and design.

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The boats cost millions, and they don't simply sail...

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Up on the foils is Team USA.

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..they fly.

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This is just a new sport that we're witnessing here in

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the 34th America's Cup.

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It's exhilarating and potentially dangerous.

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He almost capsized. Oh, my gosh!

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Since the first race in 1851,

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no British team has ever won the trophy.

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Ben Ainslie aims to change that.

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In 2013, Ben was recruited by the American team Oracle

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to help them defend the trophy.

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It's the defender.

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Oracle Team USA versus the challenger,

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Emirates Team New Zealand.

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Their New Zealand opponents were leading 8-1 in the

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first to nine race.

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But Ben's skill and experience contributed to one of the

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greatest comeback stories in sport...

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Stars and Stripes sail on.

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..as Oracle Team USA went on to win.

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I was there on the stage, and we were lifting the America's Cup.

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Part of me did think this needs to be with the British team.

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Stars and Stripes that are flying there, not the Union Jack.

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In pursuit of his dream, Ben has launched his own team.

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Land Rover BAR.

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They'll compete side by side with teams from

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Japan, Sweden, France and New Zealand for the right to win

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the trophy from Team USA, and their billionaire backer, Larry Ellison,

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who reportedly spent $100 million of his own money on the 2013 campaign.

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Ben will be the underdog, having to start from scratch.

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He'll have to raise millions of pounds.

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His team will have to design the fastest boat.

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It's a colossal challenge.

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In 160 years, only one team has ever lifted the trophy at their

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first attempt.

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I think it's the toughest America's Cup in recent history,

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if not ever. Ultimately, to go out there and win,

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we're going to have to sail bloody well.

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At the crack of dawn each day, Ben makes the hour-long commute

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from London to the team's new base in Portsmouth.

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I have to leave the house at 6.15.

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It's a bit of an early start but we have to get into the day

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so we start at the gym at 7.30, and it all kicks off from there.

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Ben formed the British team in 2014 but his desire to win the

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America's Cup has been a long-term ambition.

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I grew up down in Cornwall and I remember as

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a kid seeing these two America's Cup boats and just being in awe

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of these amazing, what seemed then to be massive 12-metre boats.

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Then thinking, "I'd really love to be part of an America's Cup team

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"and a British America's Cup team," and that really stuck with me,

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that goal and trying to get to the Olympic Games and winning an

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Olympic medal.

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Getting to the America's Cup start line is expensive.

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The team has had to pay a $3 million entry fee,

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build its own ?20 million base and employ over 100 people, including

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a crew of world-class sailors willing to join an unproven team.

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One of his first recruits was Jono Macbeth,

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a three-time America's Cup winner from New Zealand.

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Setting up a team of this size, it takes a huge amount of effort

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and work in these, you know, more-established teams.

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They've got a huge head start on us in that respect.

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To beat the established teams, they'll have to outperform

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them at every level, and competitive sailing now requires elite fitness.

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I think a little bit like rugby.

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Rugby went through a huge change from where it was perceived to be

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a very amateur sport,

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a lot of drinking and overweight guys.

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Sailing's going through the same transition.

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They work hard on the boat and they work hard in the gym

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Love it. Best part of the day.

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Apart from sailing, eating and the meetings and having coffee,

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going home and coming to work, it's my favourite part of the day.

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Team USA, the current cup holders, have the privilege of setting

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the rules of the race, including the overall weight limit of each crew.

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For Land Rover BAR,

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every sailor has had to lose weight, including Ben.

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It's a bit like being a jockey at the moment for me,

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because when I was sailing in the Olympics in the boat that I sailed,

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the Finn class, I had to be about 15 kilos heavier,

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whereas now it's really about being as light as I can.

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It's one end of the spectrum to the other.

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Physical strength will be key to winning the America's Cup.

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The power to control the boat's sail will be generated by the

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sailors turning mechanical grinders.

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We've looked to professional cycling for some gains in what we're

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doing because the Tour de France cyclists hold high power for long

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periods of time, and we need to do the same thing.

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What I want to be able to do is maintain a constant wattage on

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the grinder, basically.

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I want to be like the diesel engine that keeps everything ticking over.

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The America's Cup eight years ago in Valencia was much more

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repetitive strength. You'd stand up, do a massive tack,

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big power output, and then sit down for two minutes, whereas now,

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you're turning the handles non stop for 40 minutes.

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The next America's Cup takes place in Bermuda in 2017.

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Before that, a separate series of more than ten races.

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The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series will help decide which

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team eventually goes forward to challenge the defenders, Team USA.

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At their purpose-built headquarters in Portsmouth, Ben and the

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team are working on their boat.

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So this is the AC45F, which is our race boat for the

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America's Cup World Series.

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The boat is in two parts -

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a lightweight carbon-fibre multihull, and a detachable sail,

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which is actually a solid wing,

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taken straight from the world of aviation.

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Sailing the boat is challenging and highly technical, but race rules

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restrict how much any team can practise.

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We're limited to ten days' training on this particular race boat,

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so it is really important that we maximise the time out there

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on the water, we get used to the nuances of this boat, how

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it reacts, how we sail it fast, how we handle it round the racecourse.

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Every minute that we're out there on the water counts.

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We have to absolutely maximise the time that we get.

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Today is the first of their ten practice days.

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The team want to focus on foiling,

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a technique which relies on a unique device called a foil.

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Each foil sits at the end of a daggerboard and, like an

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underwater wing, creates lift, pushing the boat out of the water.

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So, these are the daggerboards, which are pretty fundamental

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in foiling boats now. That's what lifts us out of the water.

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It's pretty critical that we get the control of the daggerboard right.

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If we get that wrong, or the timing wrong in a manoeuvre,

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the boat will crash.

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Not literally crash and break up, but it'll crash down on the water.

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Ideally, we'd be on the foils all of the time,

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because it's less drag and resistance, the boat will go faster,

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but we need a certain amount of wind to reach takeoff speed,

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and takeoff speed for these boats is around 15, 16 knots, 20mph.

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Every boat that sails in the series races is identical,

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so winning relies purely on the skill and fitness of the crew,

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and a bit of team bonding helps, as well.

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I've actually got the second-smallest guns on the team,

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would you believe? Ben Ainslie has the smallest guns.

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Focus on what you're doing. Watch it!

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There's idiots like CJ, just spend every day doing bicep curls

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to try and out-gun people, and then he orders small T-shirts

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so his biceps just fit into the T-shirts, and then when he's

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walking through the office in front of the communication team and all

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the girls, he just flexes a little bit as he walks past, like this.

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Absolutely pathetic. REPORTER: Is this true?

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No, it's just natural size from me, and then this little fella,

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you know, he's always been a bit of a fat man and now he's

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struggling with the fact that he's lost a bit of weight and he's

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actually just lost all his muscle and has got no power left.

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Out on the water, the winds are strong enough for the boat to foil.

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To foil successfully, all the sailors must synchronise

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their movements perfectly.

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Ben, at the helm, steers the boat and calls the shots.

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CJ, a qualified pilot, controls the wing, constantly making minor

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adjustments, trimming it to maximise the wind's power.

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Freddie and two other sailors coordinate the sails and ropes

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at the front of the boat to lift one of the daggerboards out of the

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water just as the one on the other side of the boat is dropped down.

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They repeat this exhausting routine every time the boat makes a turn.

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To maintain maximum speed,

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the team needs to work on a critical manoeuvre...

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..turning the boat while it's out of the water,

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called the foiling jibe.

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What we're looking for when it's the foiling jibe,

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that the boat can stay up in the air,

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because it's much less drag, so the boat will go faster.

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The real difficult manoeuvre is to jibe the boat while staying

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on the foils.

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To avoid losing speed, the team must keep both of the hulls out of

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the water the whole way through the manoeuvre.

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This is a jibe they're doing now.

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But time and again,

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the boat is falling off the foils and decelerating.

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The jibes at the end were awful.

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There's ten jobs that need to be done during the jibe

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and if you mess one of those or if one of those isn't perfect,

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you don't form a jibe.

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We're probably messing up two or three, but it's all things we're

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learning from, so it's good.

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The racing that we do in the World Series,

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the boat handling is going to be absolutely critical.

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It's going to be really tough for all the guys but, you know,

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that's the challenge.

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The history of the America's Cup goes back to 1851,

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when a schooner from New York, named America,

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sailing at a stately 7mph, beat the fastest British yachts in

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a race around the Isle of Wight, with Queen Victoria looking on.

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For 132 years, the Americans held on to the trophy before finally

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being beaten by an Australian team in 1983.

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16 previous British challengers have all failed.

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In over 50 years, none have even made the final.

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If Land Rover BAR were to win,

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it would be the first British team to win the oldest trophy in

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international sport and bring the cup home.

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To win the America's Cup is definitely one of the

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toughest things you can do and, if we are successful,

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it will be an incredible achievement for this team.

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But unlike most teams which have traditionally been bankrolled by

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tycoons like Larry Ellison, they're working with a more limited budget.

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Certainly, for a new team to come in and overtake somebody like

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Larry Ellison and Oracle is incredibly hard.

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They will be very tough to beat but I don't think they're unbeatable.

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To stand a chance of winning,

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Ben must rely on some of the best boat designers in the world.

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Hello, Benjamin, you all right? How is it?

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Sailing, and the America's Cup in particular, has changed

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a huge amount in the last five years.

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It's much more about the aerodynamics, the control systems.

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It's no good having the best sailing team in the world if the boat's

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slower than the competition, and vice versa.

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Over the coming months, they'll invest millions of pounds

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designing and refining a series of test boats, called T Boats,

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before committing to the design of their final race boat,

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ready for Bermuda in 2017.

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Today, boat captain Richy O'Farrell

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has come to the team's construction site in Hythe to collect their

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first in-house designed test boat, T2.

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The design is highly secret, and the team would like to keep it that way.

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This is the boat. T2.

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It's quite a step on from the boats we've been sailing for the

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last year. It looks a lot meaner,

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it looks a lot quicker,

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it's going to be a lot quicker.

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Most noticeably for the guys -

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they'll be inside the boat this time rather than on the platform.

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This boat alone has cost millions to design and construct, and it's

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only a stepping stone to what the team hopes will be a winning design.

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This is a huge investment of both the team's time and financially.

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You always hope you're building the best boat in the world but

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until the day you line up against someone else, you never really know.

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Richy is going to be taking the boat from Hythe 20 miles along

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the coast back to the team's base in Portsmouth.

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Stern's away.

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But with the wing not yet built, one of the fastest sailing boats

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in the world is making its first sea journey being towed.

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Halfway back to Portsmouth,

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there's suddenly an unwelcome sight on the starboard side.

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REPORTER: What's happening?

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I've just got one of the other chase boats from another team

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obviously quite curious of what we're bringing round to Portsmouth.

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You can see the video cameras are out and the photo cameras are out,

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so I suspect they'll be escorting us back into Portsmouth.

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The Artemis team from Sweden are boldly taking pictures of the

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boat's secret design, which could give them a competitive edge.

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REPORTER: Is that cheeky? Yes and no.

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Everyone's interested in what everyone else is doing.

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Yeah, I think it's part of it, part of the game.

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Even as T2 enters Portsmouth harbour,

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it's still under close surveillance from their rivals.

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The other competitors are all around at the moment

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so the quicker we can get her back in the shed and hidden away,

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the happier we'll all be, I think.

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With three weeks until their first World Series race in Portsmouth,

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the team now only has nine days of allotted practice left, and today

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they've organised a training race against another one of their

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main rivals, Team New Zealand.

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In my career as a professional sailor,

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Team New Zealand has been one of the standout teams and certainly

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a team you always look up to.

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It's the first opportunity to see how the team fares against

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world-class opposition.

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Going to start off pretty soon.

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To get off to the best start,

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they must combine judgment of distance and precision timing...

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Three, two, one, now.

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..to hit the starting line at full speed.

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That's given Land Rover BAR the lead to the first mark.

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In the early stages of a full afternoon of exhilarating racing,

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the New Zealand team have the edge.

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Race one looks like it's going to be a win for Team New Zealand.

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It was good, though. They kept it close at various stages.

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There was little gains and losses around the course

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but first blood to the bad guys, unfortunately.

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Even though this is a pre-season friendly,

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Ben doesn't like to come second.

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Not so great to be around if things don't go well.

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It's very much about winning. I'm not in it to come second.

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I'm not interested in that.

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I decided when I was very young that I wanted to be...

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try and be the best in sailing and, you know,

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if I don't achieve that, then I'm not happy.

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Ben has been sailing competitively for more than 25 years.

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He learned to sail when he was just eight in Cornwall.

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Four years later,

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he entered his first international competition in Japan.

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I still remember to this day, as a kid, sailing my Optimist.

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Thought to myself, "That's it, that's what I want to do.

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"I want to try and go to the Olympic Games but also I really

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"would love to be involved with the America's Cup."

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At 15, Ben won the World Championship title in the

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laser class.

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He'd go on to win a further ten.

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I was pretty talented as a youngster but it wasn't really until I was

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16 or 17 that I started really, I think, working out

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my competitive skills and I guess it was around then that I felt I could

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be in the Olympics, to potentially challenge for an Olympic medal.

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In 1996, Ben travelled to Atlanta for his first Olympic Games.

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He was 19.

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He brought home the silver medal,

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and he never came second at the Olympics again.

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All the sailors will need to be in peak physical condition

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for race day.

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Come in for a little bit more mobility.

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So today, fitness trainer Ben Williams

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has organised a final gym session aimed at deciding team selection.

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Last big one, then, before Portsmouth.

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I basically want you to go out hard from the start and then live

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there as long as you can.

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You've got another couple of minutes of mobility left,

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then a five minute warm-up and then we'll all go in together. Happy?

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As Larry. It's six o'clock on a Friday afternoon.

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We've sailed four days this week.

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Trained our arses off and we're about to do the hardest

0:22:190:22:22

session of the week. All the shore crew are in the pub having a pint.

0:22:220:22:26

Andy has put a microphone on the coach, which means

0:22:260:22:29

he'll be spouting absolute nonsense. All right, Ben?

0:22:290:22:33

All right, mate. Just saying, "I can't wait."

0:22:330:22:36

If anyone underperforms, it may mean losing their place on the boat.

0:22:380:22:42

Every time we go into some sort of physical testing, if somebody

0:22:440:22:48

underperforms today, then there's a chance they won't be picked.

0:22:480:22:52

It doesn't matter how good a sailor you are,

0:22:520:22:54

if you're not physically capable of sailing the boat to

0:22:540:22:57

the standard that we want, somebody else will do.

0:22:570:22:59

OK, get ready, fellas. Five, four, three, two, one, go.

0:22:590:23:04

Nice, gents.

0:23:070:23:09

Let's go at it. Let's go at it.

0:23:090:23:11

Into your last 90, then. Come on, fellas.

0:23:120:23:15

Come on, big one, big one.

0:23:170:23:20

Good.

0:23:210:23:23

Ultimately, it's physical fitness that will decide who will

0:23:290:23:33

sail in the races.

0:23:330:23:35

Just done a 2K row, which is pretty miserable, and they've all PB'd what

0:23:350:23:41

their times have been throughout the year, which is amazing.

0:23:410:23:45

What's not nice is now, usually on a day where they would do that 2K

0:23:450:23:48

row, then that would be it, but now they've got another 40 minutes

0:23:480:23:52

of training ahead of them so...

0:23:520:23:55

Yes, I'm pleased with the first bit.

0:23:550:23:58

OK, fellas. 80s bike.

0:23:580:24:01

Got 25 seconds till I go again.

0:24:010:24:03

PB'd the 2K, though.

0:24:060:24:07

Normally I'd lie down for two days but I'm on this silly thing.

0:24:070:24:11

Away you go, Fred. Good, good. Let's try and max these scores.

0:24:130:24:16

After another 40 minutes of constant effort,

0:24:180:24:21

rotating between the bikes and rowing machines... Stick with it.

0:24:210:24:25

Don't let your head nod. Head nod is a sign that you're tired.

0:24:250:24:28

..all the sailors have put themselves through the mill.

0:24:280:24:31

One more pull, one more pull. Good.

0:24:310:24:34

Nick nearly went then and so I'm just putting it out, just in case.

0:24:420:24:48

He has been sick a couple of times on my Airdynes,

0:24:480:24:52

which is a bit of a nightmare because they spin round and

0:24:520:24:55

send sick everywhere but...

0:24:550:24:56

It's torture. I've got to keep up with these young bucks, though.

0:24:580:25:03

It's worth it.

0:25:040:25:06

It's now only 48 hours until the crew will line up for the

0:25:130:25:17

team's first-ever competitive race in Portsmouth.

0:25:170:25:20

And coach Rob wants to practise the race starts.

0:25:220:25:26

We're into the last day here and last few hours of training so,

0:25:260:25:31

you know, it's really trying to polish up any of those areas

0:25:310:25:34

that we think we can make slightly bigger gains in.

0:25:340:25:37

The start plays a huge part in race results.

0:25:390:25:42

It's also one of the most dangerous moments of a race, when boats

0:25:460:25:50

will jockey for the best position at the starting line.

0:25:500:25:53

And today, the strong winds and perfect foiling conditions

0:26:020:26:05

mean the boat is hitting speeds of over 35mph as it

0:26:050:26:11

accelerates from the start line.

0:26:110:26:13

At these speeds, the team is sailing at the very limit.

0:26:180:26:22

The boat has crashed off the foils, violently nosediving

0:26:310:26:35

into the water...

0:26:350:26:36

..catapulting Ben through the air.

0:26:380:26:41

The crew call the emergency medical team from a following boat.

0:26:470:26:50

If Ben is hurt this close to their first race,

0:26:520:26:55

it would be catastrophic.

0:26:550:26:57

Since the introduction of foiling,

0:27:010:27:04

high-speed accidents have become an unwelcome part of the sport.

0:27:040:27:08

A shocking yacht accident.

0:27:080:27:10

An Olympic gold medallist killed, another sailor injured when their

0:27:100:27:14

America's Cup boat capsized during practice in San Francisco Bay.

0:27:140:27:18

In 2013, the Swedish team, Artemis, capsized.

0:27:180:27:23

The crew of the massive catamaran was on a training run near

0:27:250:27:28

Alcatraz when the 72-foot boat flipped, landing on its side.

0:27:280:27:34

Among the crew that day was a British sailor, and one of

0:27:340:27:37

Ben's closest friends, Andrew Simpson.

0:27:370:27:41

Most of the sailors were thrown overboard into the frigid

0:27:410:27:44

waters but Andrew "Bart" Simpson,

0:27:440:27:47

a two-time Olympic medallist, became trapped under the boat's platform.

0:27:470:27:51

The person apparently was submerged for approximately ten minutes.

0:27:510:27:56

Despite their efforts, the doctors weren't able to save Andrew's life.

0:27:560:28:00

Losing Andrew was definitely the worst moment of my life.

0:28:020:28:07

Such a close friend, mate, and just the circumstances

0:28:090:28:15

around the accident. If you asked Andrew,

0:28:150:28:19

he would still say to get back out there and get on with it.

0:28:190:28:22

Their final practice session is now complete.

0:28:260:28:29

Ben has escaped his crash without serious injury.

0:28:300:28:33

It was tough, you know.

0:28:350:28:37

It was a reminder of the dangers of sailing these boats and,

0:28:370:28:40

you know, we're pushing it to the limit.

0:28:400:28:42

In that instant, you don't really know what's happening.

0:28:420:28:45

You don't understand how you got from where you were

0:28:450:28:47

to where you ended up.

0:28:470:28:49

I think it shakes you up because of, you know,

0:28:490:28:52

the history of these boats and it's, I guess, a timely reminder of just

0:28:520:28:56

trying to keep on the right side of pushing it too hard.

0:28:560:28:59

There's nothing more the crew can do until race day.

0:29:010:29:04

We've got to make that mental switch from training, where you can

0:29:060:29:10

afford to make mistakes, to racing, where we can't.

0:29:100:29:13

You can feel the tension rising a bit.

0:29:130:29:15

Ultimately, though, we've just got to go out and do it

0:29:150:29:18

on the day, and that's sport.

0:29:180:29:20

Hello, and welcome to an historic day for Portsmouth and

0:29:230:29:26

Great Britain, where the scene is set for the start of

0:29:260:29:29

the 35th America's Cup cycle.

0:29:290:29:31

160 years after the first America's Cup race around the

0:29:310:29:35

Isle of Wight, today, the competition has returned

0:29:350:29:39

to British waters.

0:29:390:29:40

Today's the day, finally. We've been waiting a long time for this day

0:29:420:29:46

and it's a great day.

0:29:460:29:47

Sun's shining, breeze is blowing and here we are. The America's Cup.

0:29:470:29:50

Boo-ya!

0:29:500:29:52

The last time Ben raced in the America's Cup, he was with

0:29:520:29:55

Oracle Team USA, skippered by Australian Jimmy Spithill.

0:29:550:30:00

But this time the two will be going head to head.

0:30:000:30:03

Obviously, Ben's got the hometown support.

0:30:050:30:07

He's had his boat here

0:30:070:30:08

longer than anyone.

0:30:080:30:10

We're just looking forward to getting out there

0:30:100:30:13

and going head to head.

0:30:130:30:14

REPORTER: Are you going to beat them? That's the plan.

0:30:140:30:17

Yes, that is the plan.

0:30:170:30:19

Come on, guys.

0:30:190:30:20

Over the last four weeks,

0:30:200:30:22

the crew has trained on the water for over 100 hours.

0:30:220:30:25

Now it's race day.

0:30:250:30:27

Sailor Matt Cornwell hasn't made the final selection.

0:30:320:30:36

Instead, he's analysing the racing from the team's base.

0:30:360:30:41

I'd much rather be out there in the water, but my heart's in this team.

0:30:410:30:45

I care so much for this team and I really,

0:30:450:30:48

really want to see us do well out there

0:30:480:30:50

and I really hope the boys can bring home the chocolates.

0:30:500:30:53

As the clock ticks down to the race start,

0:30:530:30:56

the team's America's Cup campaign is finally underway.

0:30:560:31:00

Here we go. Three, two, one, the America's Cup racing is

0:31:000:31:03

officially underway

0:31:030:31:05

here in Great Britain.

0:31:050:31:07

But the team gets off to a bad start.

0:31:070:31:10

Back in fourth place.

0:31:100:31:12

Halfway down the first run but it's not gone well for us, really.

0:31:120:31:18

With some competitive sailing, the crew comes back through the

0:31:180:31:22

field, passing team New Zealand to take the lead.

0:31:220:31:27

Has Land Rover BAR passed Emirates Team New Zealand?

0:31:270:31:31

They have.

0:31:310:31:33

We're rolling the Kiwis.

0:31:330:31:35

Good old-fashioned rolling over the top of them.

0:31:350:31:38

The crowd on shore is beginning to go wild.

0:31:380:31:42

They like what they see ahead.

0:31:420:31:44

You can hear the cheering.

0:31:440:31:46

Ben Ainslie and crew.

0:31:460:31:47

Their first debut and they have done it, winning race number one

0:31:470:31:52

of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series.

0:31:520:31:55

It's the dream start for the British team.

0:31:590:32:01

In the second race of this first series,

0:32:050:32:09

a strong start sees the home team leading from the outset.

0:32:090:32:13

We're in good shape.

0:32:130:32:15

We're going to be the first one or two round the reach.

0:32:150:32:18

Ben gambles on finding the strongest winds on one side of the course.

0:32:180:32:23

Choosing to jibe right away. Very interesting...

0:32:230:32:27

It doesn't pay off.

0:32:270:32:29

It looks like a big change here.

0:32:290:32:31

Look at the gap between the front three,

0:32:310:32:34

who didn't jibe.

0:32:340:32:35

We jibed off early, which paid in the last race.

0:32:350:32:38

This race, it was not the thing to do and we actually went from

0:32:380:32:42

first to basically pretty much last.

0:32:420:32:45

It will be Emirates Team New Zealand and crew taking race number two.

0:32:450:32:50

Although Team New Zealand come over the line first,

0:32:500:32:53

the British team take second place...

0:32:530:32:56

And what a comeback by Ben Ainslie Racing.

0:32:560:32:59

..putting them at the top of the leaderboard on the first day.

0:32:590:33:02

Good comeback. Nice.

0:33:020:33:05

On the second and final day, the weather takes a turn for the worse.

0:33:120:33:16

As you can see, this occluded front just a bit further west.

0:33:180:33:22

Fears over safety means all of today's races are cancelled.

0:33:220:33:27

It's too windy to go sailing, basically.

0:33:270:33:29

It's average over 25 knots, gusting 30, which is too much.

0:33:290:33:33

It would be dangerous.

0:33:330:33:35

Ultimately, it means that we won with yesterday, which is great.

0:33:350:33:38

Stoked.

0:33:380:33:39

So with the weather playing a hand, Ben and the team have won the

0:33:390:33:44

first event of the America's Cup World Series.

0:33:440:33:48

We would've loved to have raced.

0:33:480:33:49

A lot of people put effort into this event,

0:33:490:33:51

so it's a real shame, but at the same time,

0:33:510:33:55

for us, it's great to have won this first event

0:33:550:33:58

so we're delighted with that.

0:33:580:34:00

I ask the winners to come forward and collect the victory trophy.

0:34:000:34:04

It is Sir Ben Ainslie and his Land Rover BAR team.

0:34:040:34:07

APPLAUSE

0:34:090:34:12

Despite the team's maiden victory in the World Series, there's no

0:34:190:34:23

time for Richy and the shore crew to celebrate as millions of pounds

0:34:230:34:27

of investment are riding on them getting test boat T2 in the water.

0:34:270:34:33

But it's now weeks overdue.

0:34:350:34:37

The initial schedule, we're a long way behind but rather than

0:34:390:34:43

just having lots of problems and solving them, we find one,

0:34:430:34:47

solve it and that leads to us finding the next one which, I guess,

0:34:470:34:50

which has been the frustration rather than the big problem.

0:34:500:34:54

The main issue has been with the all-important daggerboards,

0:34:540:34:58

which raise and lower the wing-like foils.

0:34:580:35:01

They don't fit in their casing.

0:35:020:35:05

This is probably the most complicated boat any of us

0:35:050:35:08

have ever had anything to do with.

0:35:080:35:10

Ultimately, we'll get on the water in the next week or so

0:35:100:35:13

and hopefully we'll learn a lot from it, and all the hard

0:35:130:35:16

times will become relative and it'll feel worthwhile.

0:35:160:35:20

At the moment, it certainly doesn't feel that worthwhile.

0:35:200:35:23

Today, they want to see if they've cured the problem.

0:35:250:35:28

If they can get the daggerboards to fit,

0:35:310:35:33

the boat will be ready to sail in days.

0:35:330:35:36

Yep, this is it. Go, go, go.

0:35:360:35:38

Despite all the work, the boards still aren't going straight in.

0:35:420:35:46

So we've got three springs here.

0:35:480:35:50

As the board goes up and down,

0:35:510:35:53

it keeps the pressure on the board, but to actually open the

0:35:530:35:57

springs up to get past, initially, is really difficult.

0:35:570:36:00

I think it's just a brute force thing now.

0:36:000:36:04

Yeah, it should just go.

0:36:040:36:07

Told you. Is it in?

0:36:100:36:13

It's in the initial first piece. It's good news.

0:36:130:36:18

Richy still needs to get the daggerboards all the way to

0:36:200:36:23

the end of the casing.

0:36:230:36:25

This has certainly been our biggest hold-up of the...

0:36:250:36:28

CLATTER ..build.

0:36:280:36:30

What was that?

0:36:330:36:34

There was a slight cracking noise as we pushed the board in there

0:36:430:36:46

but, erm... We're not 100% sure what it was yet, so...

0:36:460:36:51

We'll run the board all the way in and then when we run it out,

0:36:520:36:55

we'll find out, I guess, but...

0:36:550:36:57

The foils cost hundreds of thousands of pounds,

0:37:020:37:04

so any breakage could be an expensive setback.

0:37:040:37:08

But it's not until they remove the daggerboard that they can

0:37:100:37:13

properly investigate the extent of the damage.

0:37:130:37:16

So, we've got these two skateboard wheel bearings at

0:37:220:37:25

the bottom here and as the board's gone in,

0:37:250:37:30

the loading has broken a bearing on this side.

0:37:300:37:33

It's a nice idea to use skateboard bearings, but not always the

0:37:330:37:36

most reliable things in the world.

0:37:360:37:40

Getting test boat T2 on the water is going to be delayed again.

0:37:460:37:52

A month after the team's victory in the first World Series race,

0:37:580:38:02

the next event takes them to Gothenburg in Sweden.

0:38:020:38:06

The crew gets off to a good start but their overall performance

0:38:090:38:13

is not as strong as in the series in Portsmouth...

0:38:130:38:16

..partly due to an error in setting up the boat.

0:38:180:38:21

The result is that the team slips into second place on the

0:38:250:38:29

leaders' board, behind Team New Zealand.

0:38:290:38:32

For Ben and the team,

0:38:360:38:38

advancing the design of their test boat is critical,

0:38:380:38:42

so they're turning to a sport where aerofoil technology is vital -

0:38:420:38:46

Formula 1 motor racing.

0:38:460:38:48

Morning.

0:38:500:38:52

And they've recently recruited Martin Whitmarsh as their new CEO...

0:38:520:38:55

..bringing his experience from the world of Formula 1, where

0:38:570:39:00

he spent 24 years with McLaren.

0:39:000:39:03

And T2 is his first priority.

0:39:030:39:07

There have been mistakes made on T2.

0:39:080:39:11

It's difficult to criticise people

0:39:110:39:13

and organisations for being too

0:39:130:39:15

ambitious, but we were.

0:39:150:39:16

It will be a powerful development tool for our programme,

0:39:180:39:22

so, as soon as we get it wet and start using it, the better.

0:39:220:39:27

Martin knows there's pressure to deliver.

0:39:270:39:30

We've got a budget and we've got sailors and we've got the resources

0:39:300:39:34

that enables us to win, but, ultimately,

0:39:340:39:36

we've got to develop the fastest boat so that Ben can win the cup.

0:39:360:39:39

The team has two more test boats - T3 and T4 - to build

0:39:410:39:45

so that they can test every design feature

0:39:450:39:49

ahead of the launch of their ultimate race boat in 2017.

0:39:490:39:53

As the design team work around the clock to ready the test boats,

0:40:030:40:08

the sailing team makes the 3,000-mile journey across the

0:40:080:40:12

Atlantic to Bermuda.

0:40:120:40:14

And after Gothenburg,

0:40:180:40:20

the team is keen to get back on top of the leaderboard.

0:40:200:40:23

We're set for race number one here at the

0:40:260:40:28

Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series, Bermuda.

0:40:280:40:32

In the first race, the team finishes third.

0:40:320:40:35

But they've given up ground on Team USA, who've taken second spot

0:40:360:40:41

in the overall standings.

0:40:410:40:45

Set to start race number two.

0:40:450:40:47

And as the second race starts, the team is sitting in fourth place,

0:40:470:40:52

trailing the Americans on the water too.

0:40:520:40:54

Some brilliant sailing sees the British team leapfrog all of the

0:40:570:41:01

others, and they look to be leading as they arrive at the third gate.

0:41:010:41:05

The team must now decide which side of the racecourse might offer

0:41:070:41:11

the best wind.

0:41:110:41:13

They gamble on the right-hand side of the course.

0:41:130:41:17

Are they going to cross the other guys? Oh, is this close!

0:41:170:41:20

My goodness.

0:41:200:41:21

It proves costly.

0:41:210:41:23

To avoid a collision, Ben has to give way to Artemis,

0:41:230:41:27

losing precious time.

0:41:270:41:29

Scott was trying to get Ben Ainslie to do one thing

0:41:290:41:31

and Ben did something else.

0:41:310:41:34

Lost five boats because of that.

0:41:340:41:37

Then, at the worst possible moment,

0:41:370:41:39

disaster strikes.

0:41:390:41:41

The foils have malfunctioned,

0:41:410:41:43

meaning the team finishes in last place.

0:41:430:41:47

They rally in the third race and finish second but end the

0:41:540:41:57

year's racing behind the American and Kiwi teams.

0:41:570:42:02

Pretty frustrated. We knew we couldn't win the event.

0:42:020:42:06

The guys are good, you know,

0:42:060:42:07

even in adversity when things aren't going well.

0:42:070:42:09

You keep pushing hard, you keep thinking about the next race.

0:42:090:42:12

That's something for us to focus on when we're sailing

0:42:120:42:15

back home with our testing boat.

0:42:150:42:17

After the disappointment in Bermuda,

0:42:200:42:22

the team focuses on the first launch of test boat T2.

0:42:220:42:27

They hope they've fixed the problems with the daggerboards.

0:42:310:42:34

Out on the water, it's the moment of truth.

0:42:380:42:40

It's looking good, with the boards successfully lowered.

0:42:430:42:47

It's not long before the boat is up flying on its foils.

0:42:470:42:51

It's a big day for the team to get T2 on the water and they've

0:42:540:42:58

been working ridiculously long hours these last few months to get

0:42:580:43:02

us to this point, so a huge thank you to those guys.

0:43:020:43:05

Really our first proper step in the design process to the

0:43:050:43:08

America's Cup proper.

0:43:080:43:09

The success of T2 boosts morale but just before Christmas,

0:43:110:43:17

there's a major setback.

0:43:170:43:18

Normally with capsizes, it happens pretty quickly,

0:43:310:43:33

but in this situation it was a very slow process.

0:43:330:43:36

I think we were doing about 4 or 5 knots of boat speed at the time and

0:43:360:43:39

due to a technical glitch, we went into a very slow, painful capsize.

0:43:390:43:44

It took us a while to sort it out.

0:43:440:43:47

I think the team did a good job, in the end, in recovering both the

0:43:470:43:50

platform and the wing.

0:43:500:43:52

T2 capsizing means Christmas is cut short for the shore team.

0:43:530:43:58

Shore team did an incredible job, working through the Christmas period

0:44:000:44:03

to get us back up and running.

0:44:030:44:06

It actually had quite a minimal effect, which is fortunate.

0:44:060:44:10

February 2016, and with the America's Cup final only 18

0:44:120:44:17

months away, the team is in Oman for the next World Series race.

0:44:170:44:23

We're currently lying in third and with the intention of

0:44:230:44:26

moving forward.

0:44:260:44:27

It's supposed to be light winds here in Oman and we've been

0:44:270:44:30

doing a lot of light-wind practice so we feel pretty ready.

0:44:300:44:34

After last year's string of setbacks,

0:44:340:44:36

they're hoping to start the year with better fortune.

0:44:360:44:39

And they're off to a flyer.

0:44:410:44:43

Ainslie's going fast.

0:44:430:44:46

That's what all the rest of the teams are saying right now.

0:44:460:44:48

They're going superfast up there. Great comeback there, guys.

0:44:480:44:52

Really good effort.

0:44:520:44:54

Land Rover BAR dominates the first day of racing in Oman.

0:44:540:44:59

Ainslie is going to pass both boats here right at the last second.

0:44:590:45:03

A massive change of events for the overall in this regatta. Wow!

0:45:030:45:08

A spectacular comeback yet again by Land Rover BAR.

0:45:080:45:13

Days like today do give us a boost as a team.

0:45:130:45:15

It's really important to perform well,

0:45:150:45:17

to perform right at the top of this level of America's Cup,

0:45:170:45:20

and I think for the rest of the team, as well.

0:45:200:45:22

Our boat builders, our designers, the shore team,

0:45:220:45:24

everyone back at the base in Camber.

0:45:240:45:27

It's a great start to 2016 and helps the team

0:45:290:45:33

close in on New Zealand and the USA.

0:45:330:45:36

Land Rover BAR.

0:45:380:45:40

The celebrations continue back in the UK as the team launch

0:45:500:45:54

test boat T3 on time.

0:45:540:45:57

I name this boat T3.

0:45:570:45:59

It's the next step in designing the team's ultimate race boat to

0:46:030:46:08

challenge the US cup-holders in 2017.

0:46:080:46:12

It's wicked. It's a good boat.

0:46:190:46:21

The design boys and the boys who put the thing together have done

0:46:210:46:24

an amazing job, as you'd expect, and it's performed very well.

0:46:240:46:28

Felt like a nice step towards what we're going to be racing,

0:46:280:46:31

basically, doesn't it?

0:46:310:46:32

There's no time to rest on their laurels.

0:46:320:46:35

The coming months see the team compete in series races in

0:46:360:46:40

New York and Chicago, with mixed results.

0:46:400:46:45

Racing here in New York City,

0:46:450:46:47

the six boats are ready to do battle on the Hudson.

0:46:470:46:49

First thing you're going to see is really puffy conditions.

0:46:490:46:52

Unpredictable weather makes the going tough.

0:46:520:46:56

With erratic wins, the team's fortunes take a turn for the worse.

0:46:560:47:01

That was the biggest load of BLEEP I've ever sailed in my life.

0:47:010:47:04

The last leg in the last race was probably very painful to

0:47:040:47:07

watch for everyone at home,

0:47:070:47:09

but it was ten times more painful for us on board.

0:47:090:47:12

Chicago, however, is a completely different story.

0:47:170:47:20

For the first time, the Louis Vuitton America's Cup

0:47:200:47:23

racing here in Chicago.

0:47:230:47:26

Finally have the sort of conditions which we want for the

0:47:280:47:31

America's Cup World Series, to showcase what the sport

0:47:310:47:34

is capable of for the spectators and the fans.

0:47:340:47:36

For us, as competitors, that's what we're after, this great racing.

0:47:360:47:40

The boats were tearing along.

0:47:400:47:43

With strong winds, quick thinking and skilful manoeuvres,

0:47:430:47:47

the team outwits its rivals.

0:47:470:47:49

Ben did a really nice job of just slowing them down,

0:47:510:47:54

bearing away and still laying the far left hand of the finishing line

0:47:540:47:58

and that's ultimately what got us second place.

0:47:580:48:00

Would've loved to have won but we're past Oracle now, and the next guys

0:48:000:48:04

we're chasing is Emirates Team New Zealand to get on top.

0:48:040:48:08

Looking forward to the Portsmouth event up next.

0:48:080:48:11

Our home town and we want to do well,

0:48:110:48:13

perform well in front of our home crowd.

0:48:130:48:16

It's been an incredible journey for the team.

0:48:230:48:26

Winning race number one...

0:48:260:48:27

After two years of frustration...

0:48:270:48:30

What was that?

0:48:300:48:31

..exhilaration...

0:48:310:48:32

..and sheer determination...

0:48:340:48:35

Come on, fellas.

0:48:350:48:37

..Land Rover BAR has just a few more series races to compete in...

0:48:370:48:42

..ultimately deciding which team

0:48:430:48:45

goes through to the America's Cup final

0:48:450:48:49

to challenge the US cup holders.

0:48:490:48:53

Whatever the outcome, Ben is under no illusions of his team's skills

0:48:530:48:59

and the significance of bringing the cup home for Great Britain.

0:48:590:49:04

I am really proud of what the team has achieved.

0:49:050:49:08

To think back to where we were two years ago,

0:49:080:49:11

it was an incredible achievement and effort by everyone involved.

0:49:110:49:14

There's only one team in the history of the America's Cup that's

0:49:140:49:17

ever won at their first attempt. Our goal is to be the second,

0:49:170:49:21

something that we've never won.

0:49:210:49:23

If we can actually right that wrong in our maritime sporting history,

0:49:230:49:27

if you like, that would be a massive, massive moment.

0:49:270:49:30

The England Men's and the England Women's cricket teams

0:50:060:50:08

are both in action this summer.

0:50:080:50:10

Wherever you are in the UK,

0:50:100:50:12

Behind-the-scenes access to the most successful Olympic sailor in history, multiple gold-winning Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie, and his team as they prepare to try and win the America's Cup, sport's oldest international trophy - a sporting challenge Britain has never won since it was first raced in 1851.

Ainslie was a key player in the sensational comeback of Oracle Team USA against Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013 and is determined to bring the cup home for Britain. This documentary is an intimate portrayal of top athletes, engineering excellence and a hard-working shore crew who together plan to right a wrong in Britain's great maritime history.


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