In 2016 the attendance was close to maximum at Turner Sims Concert Hall so this year the Lectures moved to the Nuffield Southampton Theatre, again on the University of Southampton campus. The number of apprentices and students attending the Lectures again increased and, the audience, together with their managers, numbered just under 400.
The theme this year was the technology behind the America’s Cup and delegates heard of the cutting edge techniques to fly a catamaran at incredible speeds. It showed that the industry continues to innovate and develop new techniques and gave the apprentices, students and their managers a glimpse into the future of things that will be commonplace in ten year’s time.
The day was ably hosted by Sarah Fraser, a Liveryman Shipwright, starting with a discussion with Brian May Managing Director of Berthon Boat Company on the importance of apprentices to Berthon over many years and the benefit of apprenticeship schemes to this industry.
This was followed by a presentation from two 4th year Level 3 apprentices, Lewis Bunting, boatbuilder & Ryan Peberday, electrician, from Oyster Yachts, Wroxham on the yachts they build, their experiences to date and goals for the future.
The first session concluded with Manley Hopkinson of “Manley Inspiration” giving a presentation on leadership skills based on his experiences as a sailor and explorer. This was truly inspirational and held the attention of all the audience.
The second session featured Matt Sheahan in conversation with Annabel Vose & Will Alloway, Land Rover BAR Academy and winners of the Red Bull Youth America's Cup. This led in to a panel discussion, chaired by Matt, on the technology behind the America’s Cup and the trickledown effect to the sector as a whole.
The panel experts were (L-R):
Andy Claughton, Naval Architect, BAR Technologies; Richard Hopkirk, Technical Director, Land Rover BAR; James Roche, Performance & Data Analysis Team Leader, Land Rover BAR; Simon Schofield, Chief Technology Officer BAR Technologies.
Finally, the Key Note speaker was Sir Keith Mills, GBE DL , founding Shareholder and Board Member of Land Rover BAR, Chairman of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Sir Keith acknowledged his lack of education and shared four stories from his life and career, each highlighting key experiences – ‘Determination & Tenacity’; ‘Confidence & Self Belief’; ‘Passion & Challenge’; and ‘Partnership & Collaboration’. Each experience was relevant to all the audience both young and not so young!
Mr Archie Smith, the Prime Warden of the Shipwrights concluded the day by thanking all speakers for their time and particularly their enthusiasm in sharing with the audience their technical and personal experiences. Lastly the Prime Warden presented the 2017 Shipwrights' Prize to Naval Architecture student Miss Charlotte Dodge.
The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights acknowledges and thanks BMT Nigel Gee for their continued sponsorship of the Shipwrights' Lectures and thanks Southampton Marine and Maritme Institute for their support in hosting the event. We hope to see you all again next time.