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Posted on: 15 May 2017

Students go behind the scenes of the British America's Cup Challenger

On Friday 5 May, students from The Petersfield School took part in a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes of Land Rover BAR, the British America's Cup challenger. In the coming weeks, Land Rover BAR, the team led by Sir Ben Ainslie – the most successful Olympic sailor of all time - will attempt to do something that no British team has ever done before: win the America's Cup. Six teams will take to the water in Bermuda, to battle for the 35th America's Cup, presented by Louis Vuitton, one of the oldest and most prestigious trophies in sporting history.

Featuring real life examples of the technology and careers involved in Land Rover BAR's quest to win the America's Cup, the day comprised multiple activities, each carefully designed to enrich the school curriculum, aiming to inspire a new generation of sailors, designers and engineers.

The students enjoyed an exciting sailing session, learning to sail on board yachts from the Tall Ships Trust or experiencing a high speed RIB ride, which provided an opportunity to try something new, build self-confidence and develop life skills such as team work and communication

The 'Tech Deck' Education Centre allowed students to have a go at generating power using a grinder, race the boat using a virtual reality simulator and interact with some of the other amazing technological developments contributing to the British team's racing yacht

Jenny Warner, from the Bohunt Education Trust said, "Students don't know what careers are linked to STEM studies, but today has given them a really good insight, it's definitely opened their eyes. They were really interested and asking lots of questions."

Patrick Loh (Year 8) said, “It was good fun.  We got loads of information and completed STEM-based exercises.  The best part was going out on a sailing boat where everyone had a go at sailing and bringing in the sails!  We learned all about what the crew has to do to keep the boat going, how it is made of environmentally friendly materials, and how we must all be responsible about the environment and avoid polluting our seas.” 


Meetu Salah-Mates (Year 8) observed, “I didn’t realise how many people are part of the team for a fabulous boat like this - over 120!  It was really interesting and a great chance to try sailing ourselves.”


Erin Voller (Year 7) added, “We completed a game which showed how much plastic is polluting the seas compared to food available for the animals and fish.  We also went sailing to the Isle of Wight and back and got splashed! It was a great day.”


Principal Mark Marande concluded, “I am incredibly excited for the students who took part in this event.  It is just one of many ways that we seek to offer our students an unrivalled experience alongside achieving exceptional outcomes at The Petersfield School.  This is an example of the opportunities our students have to demonstrate leadership and resilience.”