Last year Lovisa Karlsson and Emil Järudd, two young talented Swedish sailors, received the 2015 Mange Olsson Memorial Fund scholarship. In addition to a financial grant, the scholarship also included a visit to the four-time Olympic gold medalist and America’s Cup challenger, Ben Ainslie in Portsmouth, UK. The visit, that took place in early June, will become a life time memory for the young sailors.
Land Rover BAR is one of the Challengers for the 35th Americas Cup in 2017. The team has an impressive headquarters where preparations already are running at full speed, and nothing is being spared to bring the world’s oldest sporting trophy home to England, where it all started.
In 2015 Sir Ben Ainslie received the Mange Olsson Prize at a ceremony in Gothenburg, and he invited Lovisa and Emil to visit his team’s striking headquarters in Portsmouth.
The building, designed by HGP Architects, the company responsible for Portsmouth’s iconic Spinnaker Tower, is an inspiring base for Sir Ben Ainslie and his racing team. From here, they will launch their bid to bring the America’s Cup home at last in 2017. Over one hundred people, from sailors to designers and marketeers, are involved in the bid to bring the America’s Cup home to the UK.
“My most enduring impression of the visit is the scale of everything, it’s truly enormous. The whole base was so impressive and it was fun to see sailing on this scale and format. And very different to anything that I do but what was equally interesting was to learn how the team was organised and how it all was set up,” says Lovisa Karlsson.
During the visit Lovisa and Emil were invited to the gym and joined some of the crew members in a fitness session. Emil, who is on a programme to gain weight and just eaten a good lunch and got carried away. He now holds the position of being the youngest person to regurgitate his lunch during training, but he is definitely not the first! A memory maybe not to treasure, but more to laugh about.
- We are truly grateful for the reception and welcome we got from Sir Ben and his team. They have a wonderful team spirit, showed great openness. And, despite the fact that they are in a period of very intensive preparation, they took their time to share their experiences and actually gave the young sailors welcome advice. Land Rover BAR is truly a role model in many aspects, particularly in inspiring young sailors coming into the sport, says Richard Brisius from the Magnus Olsson Memorial Foundation.
But when the time come to sail the amazing 45 feet foiling catamaran, there was no wind. However, what was looking to be a real disappointment was soon solved. Emil and Lovisa changed their schedule and stayed on for another day and got the opportunity to sail the wing sail flying racing machine – the AC45.
- It was really awesome to see the team work on board. And it was striking to see that they didn’t do anything different from what I’ve learned, they just did the usual stuff extremely well. It was a strange experience to sail with a wingsail as you don’t get the response that I’m used to from my boat, says Emil Järudd.
The visit was managed in cooperation with Ben Ainslie Racing and is a part the Magnus Olsson Memorial Foundation’s continuous work to support and motivate young promising Swedish sailors.
Magnus Olsson Sholarship recipients Emil and Lovisa visiting LandRoverBAR America's Cup Team. @LandRoverBAR Photos by Harry KH/LandRoverBAR