Rebels Crew hit Portsmouth!

Pupils from Tile Cross Academy – Birmingham, Sir John Hunt Community College – Plymouth and Mary Immaculate High School – Cardiff attended the launch of INEOS TEAM UK’s, the British America’s Cup challenger, high-tech racing boat in Portsmouth.

The pupils witnessed the world’s most successful Olympic sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie launch his 75-foot racing machine, a foiling monohull named ‘Britannia’ the first of its size to ever be produced.

The schools have been participating in the INEOS Rebels Crew programme, which takes sailing into Britain’s Cities. Over a 10-week period pupils, from the Academy have been attending sailing sessions at their local sailing centre (Shard End Lake – Birmingham, Plymouth Youth Sailing and Cardiff Bay); with a number of them receiving their stage 1 Royal Yachting Association Qualification.

Birmingham Rebels Crew sailor Sagar:

“For me the best bit was seeing the boat lowered into the water.  It was more like a spaceship than a water ship!  The technology is amazing.”

Plymouth Rebels Crew sailor Cody:

“I have never been outside of Plymouth, so for me this event is something that I will remember for the rest of my life. The boat design was incredible, as were the Team! Throughout the whole day I saw so many new things, it made me think that if I work hard, no matter where I am from or what my background is, you can really achieve your dreams.”

Tile Cross Academy’s Head of Social Mobility, Neil Mackintosh:

“The day was a real eye opener for our pupils. It introduced them to another world and the possibilities that are available to them in the future. It was a formative experience in terms of broadening horizons.”

Sir John Hunt Community College’s Key Stage 3 Learning Mentor, Chelsea Robinson added:

“The launch of Britannia was an inspiring and joyous event. It really felt like an occasion for everyone, our students were given the unforgettable opportunity to be involved and witness, what we all hope, will be the winning boat in the America’s Cup!”

To get the boat out sailing on the water, it has taken the British Team 90,000 design and 50,000 construction hours. The Team now have an extremely busy period of testing on the South Coast’s Solent waters from their HQ in Portsmouth, before heading to Sardinia for winter testing.

The Rebels Crew programme is delivered by INEOS TEAM UK’s Official Charity, the 1851 Trust, of which Ainslie is Patron.

Ainslie explained: “We’re passionate about getting more young people out sailing who wouldn’t normally have the chance to try it. Thanks to INEOS’ support, we’re able to take our programmes to more young people and make a bigger impact- both in the classroom and on the water. It was fantastic for the Rebels Crew to witness this significant milestone for the team, perhaps they could be our sailors of the future!”

The Rebels Crew programme was delivered by 12 Flagship Centres in 2019, teaching 3,000 city children to sail. The ambition for 2020 is to take the initiative to more cities ahead of the America’s Cup event in 2021.

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