AC36: Bob Fisher on the 're-booted' Ben Ainslie British Cup campaign
PORTSMOUTH, GBR – Financially, it [Land Rover BAR, the British America's Cup Campaign led by Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR) representing the Royal Yacht Squadron] would however appear sound. BAR's board of investors, [Ainslie] says, have agreed to underwrite the team to a significant amount again - roughly 70 percent of its budget. "It's not to liken it to a billionaire's budget," he says. "We don't have an open checkbook. We are going to have to run to a tight budget." Which is why perhaps that one of Ben's first personnel acquisitions was Grant Simmer (AUS), well known after five years in the Cup for being, amongst his other attributes, as having a stranglehold on the finances. Simmer joined BAR as CEO and there was some inevitability about this move, as Grant relates: "Ben was just harassing me about joining, and basically I still wanted to be part of the Cup. The main reason was that I enjoy being in a young team, and I enjoy their technology and the challenge, but also Ben wanted a hand and we are pretty good mates, and I said OK." –The "Dean of the Yachting Journalists," Bob Fisher (GBR), writing for Sailing World after his recent visit to the the Land Rover BAR Team Base.
Read Mr Fisher's full story on the Sailing World website here.
Last week Bob was your Ed.'s special guest, via Skype, on Sailing Illustrated's weekly live webcast "Tuesdays with TFE." Bob and I are cautiously optimistic that AC36 in 2021 is going to be a highly competitive and exciting event, and he shared additional insight from his visit to the LRBAR Base.
Grant Simmer (AUS) and Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR) at the Land Rover BAR team base in Portsmouth on England's south coast. Photo courtesy of LRBAR / Harry HK.