Tierney, Holly, Cody and Hayden were the lucky four students who were invited by 1851 Trust to be at the official party for Team UK’s new sailing boat designed by INEOS for the America’s 36th Cup.
For two of our students it was the first time they have travelled outside of Plymouth and their first ever experience on the train. With an early start and a five and a half hour journey, we finally arrived in Portsmouth at 1pm. Once checked in at our hotel, we made our way to INEOS headquarters, The Camber, which took us all by surprised with how enormous the building was!
Firstly, we were introduced to different students all over the UK who were invited along with us; these students were from Birmingham, Cardiff and Portsmouth. Once a few jokes were made about everyone’s accents, we were all ready for the next task. We made our way to the ‘Tech Deck’, this floor included high-tech technology that INEOS used to build the boat. The students had to complete different problem-solving tasks in their teams. This involved coding, virtual reality, designing, physics testing and the physical strength and endurance test (which was Cody’s favourite). After a lot of hard work and new friendships made, we walked to Still & West Restaurant where we was treated to a 3-course meal, courtesy of the 1851 Trust. We made our way back to the hotel, where we sat and had hot chocolates before making our way to bed to rest for before the big day tomorrow!
The morning started, of course, with a trip to McDonald’s for breakfast. Shortly after, we travelled back to The Camber, which was packed with guests and visitors trying to get a glimpse of INEOS new design of the sailing boat. We were told that there would be many spies from other countries reporting on the design of the boat, so we decided to spend a little time on the balcony seeing if we could spot any. This was harder than it sounds! We shortly made our way outside, where the CEO of INEOS, Jim Ratcliffe and his daughter Julia announced that the boat is named Britannia, a very suiting name for what everyone hopes will bring Team UK their first ever America’s Cup win! After a motivating speech from Sir Ben Ainslie CBE, there was excitement and joy all around The Camber when Britannia was hoisted into the water. David ‘Freddie’ Carr, INEOS Team UK Grinder, then took the students for a session at their high-spec gym, where students took part in many different exercises. Freddie then took us on a tour where we went behind the scenes at INEOS.
With none of the students wanting to leave, it was a hard goodbye to our new friends and to Portsmouth. With another long journey ahead of us, we all collaboratively reminisced over the events of the last two days. We arrived back at Plymouth for 6:30pm where all the students left our Portsmouth Residential with beaming smiles and wonderful memories made.
A special thank you to Plymouth Youth Sailing with their constant support and smooth running of our sailing sessions. Also a huge thank you to 1851 Trust and their staff members who looked after us over the two days. Lastly, and most importantly, a big thank you to our four students who represented the school fantastically with their motivation, teamwork, resilience and confidence.
Now we are into the winter months, our INEOS sailing programme is nearly at an end for this year. We are due to re-start the programme in March 2020, where students will be selected to participate, in hope of improving their motivation and resilience.
KS3 Learning Mentor