Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy Benefit from Icom Licence Free Radio SolutionThe Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), the venue for the sailing competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, are using a new licence free two way radio system to manage their facilities. The venue which will be the scene for some of the most exciting sailing these shores have ever seen, now uses Icom’s latest IC-F27SR PMR466 handportable to help coordinate its many varied operations. The Academy has been in existence for twelve years and receives no ongoing funding so has to run many different business streams to cover its overheads. Those business streams include events, conferencing and catering. With 25 members of staff working at the Academy it is vital that each business is managed efficiently and effectively, so good communication is vital. Chris Knight, the Centres Business Manager said.’ We hold a lot of sailing events throughout the year and 2012 is no exception. This year is a great example of how pivotal the Academy is to sailing in the UK. Obviously the Olympics is an important spectacle coming to the South West but surprisingly, is not the largest event we deal with. Some of the sailing events are actually much bigger. Not only do we manage yachting events, but we look after dinghy, windsurfing, sea swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking as well. With the high volume of activity at the Sailing Academy we need dependable radio equipment which provides reliable communications in the marine environment. Chris said, ‘We already use IC-M71 VHF marine hand portable radios and IC-F110M marine base stations to help organise the many high profile international events on the water. However, we now use the Icom IC-F27SR licence free two way radio as a land based radio solution.’ He added, ’the simplicity of the IC-F27SR means that a variety of our staff can use the radios. The radios provide good communications for on-site staff between offices and operational staff on the pontoons, in the dinghy park or in the Yacht yards.’ Chris said, ‘To ensure that the centre continues to flourish we have to be extremely focussed on customer service. This is quite challenging as our customer base is varied and ever changing so the licence free comms have proved invaluable in providing effective on-site communications.’ Asked how important the licence free radios have become? Chris said, ‘The radios have helped improve our customer service, allowing us to communicate to our staff, providing resolution to enquiries in a timely fashion. It also has saved us a huge amount of money by taking away the use of mobile radios. ‘We use them a lot at the weekends where we have a lot of marshalling to do. Timing is critical in a lot of our events and getting people into their kit, getting them to their boats on time is of paramount importance. With the licence free radios we can ensure that the whole team are on top of these pressures.’ So how have the radios performed? Chris said, 'I love the battery life of these radios...the radios seem to go on forever without charge. The IC-F27SR covers our facilities and provides crystal clear audio all of the time which we are pleased about. As it does operate on non-marine channels it can be used without interfering with ship-ship communications and does not require private marine channels to be used.’ The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy
The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) is a world class sailing venue and effectively promotes the sport of sailing to all levels of competence and ability, through courses, training and events, whilst supporting and working closely with the local community. The WPNSA will be the venue for the sailing competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, Weymouth and Portland has been recognised as having some of the best boating waters on the planet. The Academy currently runs a number of high profile regattas throughout the year and boasts fantastic conference and event facilities. The WPNSA is committed to conserving the local environment winning the 2008 Sport Industry Award for Environmental Concern in Sport as well as being shortlisted for the 2010 Sport Industry Award for ‘Sport Venue of the Year’ and 2011 Sport Industry Award for Sport Participation Event of the Year.