Land Rover BAR

Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, opens interactive 'Tech Deck' at Land Rover BAR

  • Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge opens new 'Tech Deck' Education Centre at the home of Land Rover BAR Britain's team to bring the America's Cup home
  • The 1851 Trust's Royal Patron joins local school children for the first interactive STEMcrew lesson in the new Education Centre
  • Sir Ben Ainslie and the sailing team train with The Duchess 'flying' on-board 'T1'- one of the team's development boats, a foiling 45-foot catamaran

Flying high The Duchess of Cambridge sails with Sir Ben Ainslie and the British America's Cup Challenger on the Solent (c) Lloyd images
Flying high The Duchess of Cambridge sails with Sir Ben Ainslie and the British America's Cup
Challenger on the Solent (c) Lloyd images


Today, Sir Ben Ainslie's British America's Cup challenger Land Rover BAR hosted a visit at their Portsmouth home from Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge - the Royal Patron of the team's official charity, the 1851 Trust. The Duchess joined Land Rover BAR Team Principal and Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Keith Mills, Chairman of the 1851 Trust, to conduct the official opening of the team's interactive 'Tech Deck' Education Centre.

The 'Tech Deck' offers a unique behind-the-scenes experience with hands-on interactive exhibits, enabling young people to get close to the boats, team, and technologies in development that will allow the team to fly faster and sail smarter; helping the British challenger achieve their goal to bring the America's Cup home for the first time in its 165-year history.



The Duchess participated in a pilot 'STEMcrew' digital lesson with young people from St Edmund's Catholic School, Portsmouth (c) Nick Dimbleby
The Duchess participated in a pilot 'STEMcrew' digital lesson with young people from
St Edmund's Catholic School, Portsmouth (c) Nick Dimbleby


The 'Tech Deck' is unusual amongst educational resource centres as it is based at the home of a working professional sports team. Developed for Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum, the aim is to foster and ignite young people's interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and aims to inspire students to continue on to careers in these essential fields. Throughout the centre the team have shared and demonstrated the many challenges they face in designing, building and racing in the America's Cup, as well as the roles science and technology play in designing boats that fly, and areas such as sailing tactics.

During the visit The Duchess participated in a pilot 'STEMcrew' digital lesson with young people from local St Edmund's Catholic School, Portsmouth. Launching in October, STEMcrew is an online educational resource developed by the 1851 Trust and will be provided for free to teachers to explore science and engineering principles with their students in depth. A painting was unveiled to commemorate the opening of the Tech Deck, which included work The Duchess had painted during a visit to an 1851 Trust art project back in February 2015.



The Duchess watches Oliver Matthews from St Edmunds Catholic School take the Grinding Challenge (c) Nick Dimbleby
The Duchess watches Oliver Matthews from St Edmunds Catholic School take the
Grinding Challenge (c) Nick Dimbleby


The Duchess also took 'flight' with the team on-board their test boat 'T1' - a foiling AC45 catamaran - taking control and steering the boat out on the race course for the forthcoming Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Portsmouth (LVACWS) event from 22-24 July. During the training session on the Solent, home to the original America's Cup race course in 1851, the team reached speeds of 33 knots (38 mph) in perfect, but demanding conditions.

Ben Ainslie said: "It was fantastic to take our Royal Patron on-board T1 during our training session on the Solent today. We gave her the helm and we were flying along at 33 knots, out on the ACWS Portsmouth race course, you can tell she has done a lot of sailing, she was a natural on-board.

"It is also great to have The Duchess' support with opening the team's new 'Tech Deck' and Education Centre. A lot of work has gone into developing this facility for young people and we hope to inspire more young people to consider opportunities and careers within STEM subjects and the marine sector in the future."

A booking system is now live for public open days: https://uk.bookingbug.com/home/49898-Land-Rover-BAR

To register interest for school visits to the Tech Deck: https://r1.surveysandforms.com/f32lqv82-ca1u7i21



The Duchess of Cambridge hits 38 mph with the British America's Cup Challenger on the Solent (c) Lloyd images
The Duchess of Cambridge hits 38 mph with the British America's Cup Challenger
on the Solent (c) Lloyd


Whilst in Portsmouth, Her Royal Highness also launched the 1851 Trust's two flagship sailing projects for 2016 in partnership with UKSA and the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. The projects are aimed at getting more than 3,000 young people from a wide demographic into the sport over the next two years. A unique aspect of the programme is working with schools to deliver STEMcrew as part of the sailing projects, engaging young people in the STEM curriculum in a unique and relevant environment, all inspired by Ben Ainslie's quest to Bring the Cup Home.

HRH met some of the team and the children involved in the projects, who showed off the boats that are used in the sailing activity. For further information on the 1851 Trust sailing projects go to www.1851trust.org.uk

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About Land Rover BAR

Sarah Alexander, Land Rover BAR Press Officer

email. Sarah.alexander@landroverbar.com  |  tel. +44 7766 391 276 / +44 1489 587 838

Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) was launched on June 10th 2014 in the presence of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. The team was conceived by four times Olympic gold medalist and 34th America's Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the long-term aim of challenging for Britain and bringing the America's Cup back home to where it all began in 1851. Ben has developed and will lead a British entry capable of winning the prestigious trophy, something Britain has so far never managed to achieve.

Land Rover BAR is a commercial sporting team, with a number of individual private investors alongside corporate partners. The team is made up of some of the best British and international sailors, designers, builders and racing support.

Sports teams represent key role models in society. This privileged position is not taken for granted at Land Rover BAR. The team believe our influence should extend far beyond the race course, and have put sustainability at the heart of operations since launching the team with Exclusive Sustainability Partner 11th Hour Racing in 2014.

The team have built a new headquarters in the centre of Portsmouth, the 74,000 sq ft. building houses all the team's activities, and the team is now welcoming school children and young people into their newly opened 'Tech Deck' education centre.

The 1851 Trust is the team's official charity, and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is its Royal Patron.

Portsmouth will host a second Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series event on 21st-24th July 2016. Almost a quarter of a million spectators enjoyed the action in Portsmouth in 2015, with 25,000 of them taking to the water - more are expected to come back in 2016 to watch the racing and cheer for the home team.

LandRoverBAR.com, #BringTheCupHome

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