Royal Ocean Racing Club
The Flagmakers installation team recently spent 2 days on the Isle of Wight installing a 25m Architectural Aluminium flagpole, equipped with Yard Arm and Gaff, at the well renowned Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC).
The RORC is a long established, unique, and exclusive yacht club based in both Lymington and Cowes. The club is widely recognised as the UK’s premier organiser of racing for offshore yachts, including the world-famous Rolex Fastnet Race the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the RORC Caribbean 600, and RORC Transatlantic Race.
Late in 2020, Flagmakers was contacted by the RORC with regards to replacing an existing 23-and-a-half-meter wooden flagpole that had become damaged beyond repair due to rotting and high winds. With flagpoles undertaking an important role within yacht clubs, particularly when using signal flags to communicate with vessels at sea, it was important that a solution was sourced ahead of the next race season.
The first step of the bespoke project saw a member of our flagpole installation team conducting a site visit to fully understand the requirements of the customer. The site survey is a crucial part of our process as it ensures that we are perfectly positioned to prescribe the RORC with a tailored solution that perfectly met their checklist of necessities.
The client required the following:
- 25-meter architectural Aluminium flagpole with gold finial
- 6m Yard Arm
- 3m Gaff and Bracket
- 20 meters of 6mm guy wire
- 9 White cleats
- Over 400m of white Halyard Rope
The site visit was especially important as it highlighted information that allowed us to reduce the complexity of the project and, importantly for the client, reduce the cost too. Our inspection discovered that the existing foundations, base plate, and tension anchor points were all in favourable condition and could easily be reused.
As these structural elements were originally designed to take the weight of a wooden flagpole of almost 2 tonnes, we were confident in using them to install a brand-new aluminium solution, weighing approximately 1500kg less. Our talented team of engineers was able to design and manufacture a bespoke and unique adaptation to the bottom of the flagpole and make use of the existing components.
Following the manufacture at the Flagmakers facility in Chesterfield, the custom-made flagpole was transported by lorry and ferry in two parts to the installation location on the Isle of Wight. Before the flagpole could be lifted, our experienced installations team combined and bolted the two lengths of pole (13.5m & 12.8m) and installed the gaff bracket and yard arm.
This step is completed before lifting the flagpole as it requires over 400m of halyard rope fixed to the two halyard points on top of the pole, one point on the gaff and six on the yard arm, all of which must return to an individual cleat on the bottom of the flagpole and without any of the wires or rope crossing at any point.
All connections and rigging were tested at ground level before lifting and rotating the flagpole by 180 degrees into its final position. Following a thorough test of the stability and all fastenings of the flagpole, a final check and demonstration of the halyards was conducted with members of the RORC.
The final result is a beautiful bespoke solution, made possible by the expertise of our dedicated installation engineers. The tallest flagpole on the Isle of Wight that not only fits perfectly with the RORC’s prestigious and elite reputation but will withstand the extreme southern coastline weather conditions and continue to look fantastic for years to come