Ben Ainslie, the Olympic yachtsman, who skippers the British yacht Land Rover BAR in the America’s Cup, will be competing against a pedal powered rival from New Zealand’s Emirates Team later this month.
Taking Dave Brailsford’s marginal gains to its limits, the Kiwi crew will resemble a mini peloton rather than a sailing crew. Their boat has stationary bikes to power grinders used to generate their hydraulic systems on the yacht.
Former track cyclist and Olympic bronze medalist, Simon van Velthooven, was brought in to help develop the systems. Speaking to The Times he said that, “We have adapted well to sailing with cleats on our shoes. The only limiting factor is we cannot clip out, run across and clip back in as quickly as you can with arm grinders.”