Coding for the cup

1851 Trust


The Brief

As part of a desire to increase the number of computer science graduates, the 1851 Trust - the official charity of INEOS TEAM UK, the British challenger for the America’s Cup, wanted to use the power of professional sports to challenge perceptions and to excite more young people about the opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths)

The Solution

Create a highly engaging and challenging gaming experience that fuses key sailing principles with basic coding. The finished result would be installed in the 1851 Trust’s education space at the Team’s base in Portsmouth.

1851 Trust 1851 Trust


Our Approach

Our world is dependent on STEM subjects. They underpin the economy, manufacturing, food production, healthcare and our general well-being, but are often taken for granted. In fact, as many as 2.4 million STEM jobs are projected to go unfilled this year.

We were asked to help the 1851 Trust tackle this issue by introducing young people between 9-16 to coding and its basic principles, whilst also providing them with an accessible overview of America’s Cup strategy in a riveting sub-5-minute experience.

Strategy is crucial to winning the race, so coding along with data analytics, plays a significant role in the development of INEOS TEAM UK’s bid for victory.

INEOS TEAM UK’s Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, says the pre-start is one of the most significant stages of any race. Statistics also show that 75% of the boats that lead at mark one, go on to win the race. Being in the optimal position and travelling at the optimal speed on the starting gun are critical.

We based our ‘Code For The Cup’ game on this crucial sailing acumen. The user is challenged to build up ‘blocks of code’, with the goal being to ensure that at the starting gun the boat crosses the starting line at the highest speed and closest to the starting gun as possible. Cross too early and you risk disqualification, cross too late and your score decreases as in a real race scenario, where your competitors would begin the race ahead of you.

The player has to take into account numerous variables, such as wind direction, direction of travel, turning circle and boat speed when plotting their course to the start.

‘Code For The Cup’ acts as a great starting point for teachers to generate excitement about coding with pupils. It encourages a ‘test and learn’ mentality and helps removes the ‘fear of failure’ by shifting that mindset to the idea of ‘failing forward’ instead, i.e. failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success.

Code for the Cup
Code for the Cup
Code for the Cup

Working with Tilt, has been an absolute pleasure. Straight from the off, the team couldn’t have been more enthusiastic, knowledgeable and creative. Their expertise coupled with their strong client management made for a really smooth delivery against a very tight deadline. As a result, we have a fantastic new addition to our education offering, which is already getting great reviews from both the young people using it and their teachers!

Gabriella Southwell Marketing & Comms Manager