The Classic Boat Museum in Cowes has a new flagship exhibit, delivered today.

Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup boat Britannia II will join another of Sir Ben's racing yachts as centrepieces of the Isle of Wight museum's already impressive collection.

The latest addition is the AC75 foiling monohull which was Britain’s race boat during the 36th America’s Cup held in Auckland in 2021.

The 75ft yacht, with a top speed of over 50 knots, will join the museum's eclectic mix of 89 boats which also includes the original BAR T1 (Ben Ainslie Racing) America’s Cup foiling catamaran, used as a test bed for the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda, again gifted by Sir Ben and team to the museum in 2018.

Mark McNeil, chairman of the Classic Boat Museum, said: ‘It is a huge privilege for the museum to display this important yacht this summer which performed exceptionally well in the early rounds of the Prada Cup in February 2021.

"Britannia II joins our wide range of historical breakthrough yachting exhibits and will be as significant addition to the Boat Shed, allowing the museum to showcase the history of the exciting development of foiling boats and the British America’s Cup story.

"I would like to thank the team at INEOS Britannia for this amazing donation."

Isle of Wight resident Sir Ben Ainslie said: "Showcasing the historical legacy of the America’s Cup is one of the goals of the Classic Boat Museum and we are delighted to again support them by donating BRITANNIA II, helping bring the America’s Cup story to life and leaving a legacy for the generations to come."

What is the America's Cup

Cowes is the historic birthplace of the America’s Cup.  

The challenge was first contested in 1851 with a race around the Isle of Wight and won by the schooner America to claim the Hundred Guinea Cup for the American team.

For 132 years America retained the Cup before Australia wrested the trophy from the Americans in 1983 in a breakthrough 12metre class yacht with wings on the keel.

See footage of Ineos Britannia racing here: