MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator and official marina partner to Land Rover BAR (Ben Ainslie Racing), is helping the team gear up for the 35th America’s Cup, which is destined for a climactic finale in Bermuda this summer. MDL has worked closely with Land Rover BAR to help set up their team base in Bermuda and has created customised pontoons, expertly designed to give swift access for the team and accommodate the crucial support boats.
Alongside the existing partnership, which has seen MDL Marinas involved in the Portsmouth Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (the preliminary series to the 35th America’s Cup), as an official Engagement Partner, the marina operator has designed custom-made pontoons tailored to the racing conditions in Bermuda. Using innovative, industry-leading technology, the pontoon has the ability to rotate 90∘, which will allow Land Rover BAR to berth the boat in all wind directions and stay attached to the shore, instead of having to have the boat on a swing mooring. The pontoon was constructed in Southampton and has travelled 3,400 miles to reach Bermuda, where it is now undergoing trial as part of the team’s intensive training programme.
The extensive design stages were started at the beginning of 2016, with the pontoons being completed and shipped by the end of the year. They are now fully installed in Bermuda, ready for the summer competition to begin. The competition so far has been a high adrenaline cinematic whirlwind, gaining international attention and reaching a crescendo last year, with Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR winning the overall Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Japan, as well as the team’s home event in Portsmouth in 2016.
Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “Open sea racing is unpredictable and fast paced, so implementing equipment which saves even a second can make all the difference. MDL Marinas has worked closely with the Land Rover BAR team in what has been a new but exciting challenge, and we can’t wait to see the pontoons in action this summer. The America’s Cup is the Formula 1 of the sailing world and it’s going to be an epic finale, both MDL and our customers are counting down the days until the action starts once again!”
James Stagg, Shore Team Manager, at Land Rover BAR, added: “The America’s Cup is all about looking at advances in technology to help gain a competitive advantage. We wanted to see if we could create a pivoting pontoon to enable us to berth the race boat in any wind direction to reduce boat loading times, so we came together with MDL Marinas to put this concept into motion. Together we’ve designed and built a tool which is tailored to the team’s racing needs and the finished product looks fantastic. It will all come down to the race days but it’s been brilliant partnering with MDL Marinas on this element of the campaign.”
To watch MDL's innovative pontoon in action, please click here.