The first ever America's Cup boat to be built in Britain, GBR70, will be launched into Auckland's Viaduct Basin tomorrow

The first ever America’s Cup boat to be built in Britain, GBR70, will be launched into Auckland’s Viaduct Basin tomorrow (13 July) after a short ceremony at the GBR Challenge base on syndicate row.

Wight Lightning, the first British boat to enter the Louis Vuitton Cup since 1987, will be towed out into Auckland harbour by the GBR Challenge team for the first of her sea trials, now that a series of load testing has been completed on shore.

Ian Walker, GBR Challenge skipper, commented: “This is yet another important step for Peter Harrison and GBR Challenge. ‘Wight Lightning’ is a credit to our design and build teams. Myself and the team are very excited about getting her on the water and are looking forward to the first sail next week.”

Wight Lightning was developed by the GBR Challenge design team and it took the 30-strong build team 24,000 man hours over five months to build her at the GBR Challenge base in Cowes. The name, Wight Lightning, was chosen from 19,840 entries into a competition held on the flagship BBC Children’s programme, Blue Peter, and HRH The Princess Royal named the boat at a ceremony in Cowes on 12 April.