Moving lock, stock, and barrel
Land Rover BAR have arrived! There’s more to setting up a training base in a new country than we might think and Land Rover BAR are in the process of moving to Bermuda.
Here’s a look at what’s involved.
Seasoned at moving from country to country, particularly for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events, Land Rover BAR know how to ship equipment efficiently. For the World Series they had four containers constantly on the road, filled with boats and equipment.
That said, the scale of the move to Bermuda was completely different, taking months of preparation and work.
The first shipment was sent to Bermuda in July last year and was mostly the equipment required to build the new base in Bermuda; it included 16 containers and four purpose-built portacabins. The second shipment in November was the big one and it involved the most preparation.
The design team and back office support will rotate in and out of Bermuda between now and the America’s Cup in May and June.
Their BT Virtual Chase Boat is already up and running in Bermuda, which allows the design team to watch all the training and testing with multi-camera video and full data analysis facilities inside a Dell EMC Mission Control Centre in Britain.
A significant number of people and equipment is needed full-time in Bermuda, and that meant a second shipment arriving with 40 items, including a crane to launch and recover the boats.
There were five RIBs, with 26 containers of equipment and a pontoon, not to mention the team’s third test boat, T3, now sailing on the Great Sound.
The final major shipment arrived in Bermuda on New Year’s Day. This included the workshop containers for hydraulics, electronics, general boat building and the machine shop, all of them travelled with Land Rover BAR’s race boat to Bermuda.
Meanwhile, team members have been moving their lives and their families here for six or more months — everything from houses and cars needed to be packed up and stored away, rented or lent.
Children had to be readied to leave their schools and friends behind, and to meet new friends in Bermuda. They had to make tough choices about which of their favourite toys to pack and which to leave behind.
The Hamilton Princess Hotel is their new home, and the staff there have been so welcoming. The team have been getting acclimatised to island life, getting used to the differences from home — like renting bikes instead of rental cars!
Fortunately, the water makes it easy to get around and taking a boat to work in such a beautiful place is a bonus. Cycling is also a great way to travel and it’s certainly helping those who want to work on their aerobic fitness.
The team felt it was important that they also leave a legacy behind in Bermuda.
Lionfish have done a lot of damage here, as they have elsewhere in the Atlantic. They pose a threat to the natural order in the Eastern United States, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Bermuda.
The Bermuda Lionfish Task Force holds regular dives to hunt and kill the lionfish, but since these predators hunt at depths of up to 300m, new methods are needed to arrest the damage it is doing to Bermuda.
Along with the team’s Exclusive Sustainability Partner, 11th Hour Racing, we are looking at ways to help.
11th Hour Racing is also funding the Bermuda Exploration Zone at the Land Rover BAR base on the island.
An educational space open to the public at the team base, the zone will bring attention to ocean health and environmental issues such as the lionfish, and this resource will be left behind for the benefit of the island as a lasting legacy.
Land Rover BAR’s renewable energy partner, Low Carbon, will also leave behind the 62kW solar PV wall installed with the help of local supplier, at the National Museum of Bermuda. It will save 28 tonnes of CO2 a year, and provide a sustainable energy source long into the future.
“Although our goal is to take the Cup home, we will be leaving a lot behind that’s worthwhile,” Ben Ainslie, the BAR skipper, said. “Back on the racecourse though, we’re focused and working incredibly hard to be in the best shape possible come race day.”
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