News

Flying Solo - the Land Rover BAR Academy go out on their own

© Lloyd Images

Flying Solo - the Land Rover BAR Academy go out on their own

A month after the Land Rover BAR Academy competed in their Extreme Sailing Series (ESS) home event in Cardiff, the young sailors are headed to Hamburg for the next stop on the tour – and this time they will be flying solo. For the first time they will race without any members of the Land Rover BAR senior squad on board the GC32 foiling multihull.

The race village opens on the 29th July, with competition through to the 31st July. Raced on the River Elbe in the HafenCity area of Hamburg, this stop of the ESS will challenge the teams with one of the tightest race courses, strong tides, unpredictable winds and passing traffic.

The seven strong Land Rover BAR team will include Owen Bowerman as helm, with Will Alloway, Neil Hunter, Adam Kay, Oli Greber and Rob Bunce. The coach will once again be Andrew Walsh, with boat captain Mike Heffer. Joining the Academy as a trial helmsman will be Elliot Hanson, just back from Rio where he was training partner for Nick Thompson in the Olympic Laser class. 

Land Rover BAR Academy Manager, Rob Andrews commented, “Elliot typifies the quality of sailor that the Academy are looking to develop into foiling sailors. Hamburg will be the first time that Elliot steps on board a GC 32, so it will be a truly steep learning curve. But it will be a significant moment in the journey for everyone in the Land Rover BAR Academy.

“This will be the first event where the team do not have any onboard mentors from the senior team,” continued Andrews. “Instead, they will rely on Andrew Walsh as coach as they continue to develop the foiling skills and the knowledge to compete against the seasoned pro sailors in the Extreme Sailing Series. Putting together a whole series will be a much tougher task without the experience of the senior team on board, but top three results in races are the goal.”

Jono Macbeth, Land Rover BAR’s senior Sailing Team Manager and one of the Academy’s mentors commented, “It’s an incredibly exciting event for the Academy sailors out in Hamburg, a fantastic opportunity to show what they have learnt over the last 2 or 3 months from the mentors, coaches and the senior members of the sailing team. Their dedication to learning how to sail these very technical boats, and to the fitness programme has been really impressive. It’s going to be a fantastic regatta for them and I’m sure come Sunday night there will be a huge amount of lessons learnt, but they will just keep learning from these experiences.”

The 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ fourth Act starts today in Hamburg, Germany. Racing 1400-1700 GMT+2. 

Extreme Sailing Series Overall Leaderboard:

Oman Air – 35 points

Red Bull Sailing Team – 32 points

Alinghi – 30 points

SAP Extreme Sailing Team – 25 points

Land Rover BAR Academy – 25 points

CHINA One – 21 points

Sail Portugal – 20 points

Team Turx – 11 points

Land Rover BAR Academy crew

William Alloway, 20, Leicester
Sam Batten, 22, Llandough, South Wales
Rob Bunce 22, Swindon
Owen Bowerman, 19, Portsmouth
Oli Greber, 20, Eastbourne
Neil Hunter, 21, Irvine, Scotland
Adam Kay, 20, Southampton

Elliot Hanson, 22, Macclesfield