Up close and personal with some of the world’s most advanced racing yachts.
The eyes of the sailing world were on Portsmouth in July 2015. Britain’s fastest sailors, led by our neighbour Sir Ben Ainslie and based near us on Old Portsmouth, were taking on the best in the world in a series of races off Southsea. We were appointed the Official UK Divers to provide professional safety support.
High performance 45 foot yachts racing each other at speeds of up to 35 knots makes an exciting spectacle but brings risks. The tragic accidental death of British sailor Andrew Simpson in an America’s Cup training event in 2013 brought safety to the forefront once more in yacht racing. From the outset, Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie focused on safety and brought in RS Divers to provide fast, professional diving services should the worst happen. Following detailed planning and safety meetings, we provided ten divers in fast response dive RIBs each day on the race course ready to tackle any emergency.
Although we were on standby throughout the event, ready to assist at a moment’s notice, there were no problems and no need for divers to be deployed. Instead, we enjoyed one of the best views of the thrilling competition from the water! We will be volunteering in the future with safety boat assistance to help support the event and are looking forward to it.