UTC Portsmouth students visit Land Rover BAR Tech Deck

When we got into the Land-Rover Bar building we sat down and watched a video on the 2017 America’s Cup which included high speed crashes, close finishes and capsizing. It was incredible how the boats get up to 50 mph just by the power of wind. We then got to have look around the tech deck, in there was a cross section of the hull from a training boat where we could see the materials put into one of the racing catamarans. Another cool bit of tech is the headset, earphones would block all noise out so they took a bit of coil out of a speaker and put against the head and it vibrates the sounds transmitted onto your skull and you can still hear the outside noises. There was also a virtual reality racing game where you put the VR set on and took the wheel of a racing catamaran. The man leading us taught us about the grinding pedestals, about how if they pedal with their arms it would send oil through to help the driver turn the boat easier. The only people who used the stationary bikes were the winners: New Zealand.

Next we went to the Portsmouth Watersport Centre and had to get changed into the appropriate gear then we had a look at one of the sailing dinghies that we’d be in and were told that when we were steering we’d had to be physical and change sides of the boat at the same time as the mainsail would swing over your head, and when the appropriate time to change the position of the Jib was. Then we went out into the water, travelling at about maybe 5 knots as it wasn’t very windy. Then one of the team-members on our dinghy thought that he had to change sides when we turned and we started tipping at a 70° angle and by this time  was shouting “arghhh”, this made everyone turn round and saw me very inelegantly half dive, half bellyflop in the water, it was freezing when I hit the water but it soon warmed up, we then had to hand on the top of the starboard side and have an instructor pull us back up and we were off again, not really gathering up much speed, we passed some seals though. We got to the end with not enough time to get back so the instructors hooked us up and towed us back to shore. Overall it was an amazing day!

Written by By Danny Rex, Year 10