The National Maritime Museum's major exhibition for 2005 will be a celebration of Pete Goss's Team Philips
The National Maritime Museum’s major exhibition for 2005 will be a celebration of Team Philips.
Team Philips was the dream of one man, Pete Goss, who inspired millions. Pete and his team developed the revolutionary catamaran that was Team Philips. A 120ft loa, 70ft beam (larger than the centre court at Wimbledon) and 135ft high (taller than ten double decker buses) catamaran that owed more to aerospace than boat building. The team, the boat and their combined spirit, entered the hearts, minds and emotions of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Now the Maritime Museum is developing a dedicated exhibition celebrating this West Country epic project.
Team Philips was built to be the biggest, fastest and most hi-tech of boats. With wave piercing bow technology she was a sailing spaceship in carbonfibre, and was specifically designed for The Race – a no-holds barred, no limits, round the world challenge.
In December 2000, on the passage to the start of The Race in Barcelona, Team Philips had to be abandoned in freak weather. 70 knot winds, 10m waves and worsening weather conditions, left Pete and his crew no choice but to abandon Team Philips or risk their lives.
Interestingly 40ft of the original 120ft starboard hull was salvaged off Iceland. Carrying thousands of names of individual supporters it will form the centre piece of the exhibition. The museum has been working with Pete collecting objects, photographs, equipment and other memorabilia which will all play a central role in this exciting exhibition.
Pete Goss commented: “I wanted to preserve the ‘spirit’ of Team Philips and the Museum is the perfect setting. Some might say the project was a failure, so why celebrate it? But, you can’t measure success just by winning, it can be measured in so many ways and I know Team Philips inspired others to go the extra distance, to overcome their fears and to tackle their own challenges. Granny Barney, for example, who at 60 walked the south coast of England to raise £10,000 for her church and Team Philips, is a prime example of the drive and determination that can make anything possible – and that’s why we called the galley after her.
“Progress is about change and development; by definition, attitudes will always follow one step behind. By accepting the risks we chose to drive in the fast lane. Defeat, however, sometimes has to be accepted. As a team we can look the project in the eye knowing that we gave it our all. We dared to dream and we are proud of what we achieved and I am over the moon that the museum will be telling this story.”
The support for the project was enormous, with 1.2m visitors passing through the visitor centre in Totnes and a further 97m hits on the website. Team Philips is the story of an entire community; how an amazing group of people pulled together for the adventure of a new millennium and a celebration of that achievement.
The exhibition in Falmouth, Cornwall opens 28 January 2005.