Sir Ben Ainslie’s Ineos Team UK are getting back to training on the Solent this month.
Since returning from the cancelled ACWS event in Cagliari, Sardinia, the team HQ in Old Portsmouth has been in coronavirus lockdown.
Ainslie told local Portsmouth newspaper ‘The News’ that a ‘backlog’ of testing has built up – but he was determined to plough through it.
With professional athletes now allowed to start training together from 1 June the crew of their first AC75, Britannia, was reduced to allow them to comply with distancing rules.
They have reduced the eleven man crew by replacing the hand cranked grinders with electrical powered grinders – normally two crew operate each of the grinders.
Recently the Italian Luna Rossa team skipper Max Sirena confirmed that they had carried out test sailing in Cagliari with a reduced crew of only five sailors after fitting electric grinders.
Ainslie confirmed that they would be using heatmap measuring devices to ensure everyone stayed two metres apart.
The reduced crew team has been split 50-50 between the crew ‘trenches’ on either side of the hull, with minimum movement between them to maintain social distancing.