Ben Ainslie announced a "radical shake-up" of his America’s Cup team, with manufacturing company INEOS "ploughing" £110M ($153.2M) into his challenge to bring sport’s oldest int'l trophy "back to Britain," according to Tom Cary of the London TELEGRAPH. As part of its investment -- "the biggest ever British America’s Cup investment" -- INEOS will take over naming rights, with Ainslie’s name "no longer forming part of the official team title." The Portsmouth-based team "will henceforth be known as INEOS Team GB," as opposed to Land Rover BAR, the BAR having stood for Ben Ainslie Racing. Existing sponsors Land Rover and 11th Hour Racing "have left," with INEOS' £110M investment "contingent on the team making a completely fresh start." New sponsors Belstaff, Limewood and Projekt Grenadier "are part of the INEOS stable." The deal will effectively see INEOS "hire" Ainslie’s race team lock-stock, "with most of the key players remaining in situ." Ainslie will stay on as team principal, Grant Simmer as CEO, Nick Holroyd as chief designer, Jono Macbeth as sailing team manager and Giles Scott as tactician (TELEGRAPH, 4/26).
'AMAZING BOOST': REUTERS' Alexander Smith reported INEOS Founder & Chair Jim Ratcliffe said, "We have a first-class team and will do everything we can to bring this trophy back to Britain where it belongs. ... This is an amazing boost for British sport." Ainslie said that his previous commercial partners were disappointed but had been "incredibly gracious." INEOS Team GB will now represent the "historic" Royal Yacht Squadron’s affiliated club, Royal Yacht Squadron Racing (REUTERS, 4/26). The BBC reported Britain's challenge will consist of two 75-foot foiling monohulls designed by Nick Holroyd, "who was behind New Zealand's winning boat" in '17 (BBC, 4/26).