Following the tremendous success of the launch of the British Military Tournament in 2010, this year’s event was bigger and better, with the addition of participating units from the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, plus the American military.
Taking place in Earls Court, the Tournament is the largest display of military theatre anywhere in the world, pulling together the best elements of the world-famous Royal Tournament. Once again, Unusual Rigging supported the event, supplying a raft of equipment plus crew.
In addition to 400m of truss for lighting and PA equipment, Unusual also provided truss and rigging for the massive ‘hockey scoreboard’ projection screen, flown above the centre of the arena. Hidden inside the screen were elements such as climbing ropes, for use in the gymnastic display by the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, and a hot air balloon basket, which was lowered during The American War of Independence scene and again during the finale. And just below the screen Unusual rigged the chassis for the pyrotechnics which closed the show.
The show got off to a riveting start, with soldiers of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps entering the arena in rapid succession down four 100m zip lines. Such a speedy entry was dependent upon the trolleys, which were designed and fabricated specifically for the event by Unusual Rigging.
The Tournament would not be complete without the legendary Field Gun Competition, for which Unusual provided the suspension for the Walls, which are flown until required. All flown equipment was computer controlled and a total of some 160 motors were deployed.
As always, the Unusual crew gave their time willingly, including during the three show days, when Robin Elias, Unusual’s Technical Director, could be seen in the arena ensuring that the flown props were safely re-hung ready for the next performance. He said: “Alan Jacobi and I regard it as an honour to work on this show. Unusual had a long relationship with the Royal Tournament and it’s great to be part of this new event. The three charities supported by the 2011 Tournament do wonderful work, and we are delighted to be able to support them in this way.”
The 2011 British Military Tournament was presented by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity in association with the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund.