An Electrifying Weekend - Out Of This World In Fact!
Let me explain...
In the company of Astronauts on Friday, and with a bunch of fellow EVangelists on Saturday & Sunday in Battersea Park, London.
Virgin Galactic is an extraordinary company on an extraordinary mission involving extraordinary people. I had the privilege to meet some of them courtesy of Icelandic Astronaut-in-waiting and Chief of the EV Viking Clan - Mr Gisli Gislason.
Being of a certain age...where NASA, Carl Sagan, Arthur C Clarke et al have become an integral part of my sense of wonder with it all - the gathering of Astronauts was an evening like no other...
Rubbing shoulders with such luminaries as CEO George Whiteside, Chief Pilot Dave Mackay, and Operations VP Mike Moses, I had the honour to hear a first-hand status update of it all. It has been an astonishing journey thus far accompanied by the full spectrum of events and emotions.
To 'sing for my supper' I wrote a poem for the occasion and I'm pleased to report it seemed to hit the spot - I gave Richard a copy when we met up at the race on Saturday.
And so to the races!...
There is one single word that sums it all up in my view - Wow!
A sell-out crowd welcomed home the electric warriors at the end of their world tour, and in between qualifying and the race itself, were entertained and informed by various sponsors and EV related enterprises. I was delighted to see a fab range of electric bikes, and of course a few electric cars!
In particular I like the DHL stand for its mix of fun and education - and whilst I took the photos, my son Nat and pal Barney Williams (Co-Founder of Student Taxi Share App 'Jumpin') got a flavour of how energy recuperation worked by furiously pedalling on a virtual lap of the Battersea track! We captured Lukas Neckermann (author of 'The Mobility Revolution) having a go too!
Race victor on the final day was Virgin's Sam Bird - which of course delighted the home crowd, and so close was the championship that Nelson Picquet wasn't sure he'd won even after he'd crossed the line - but champion he is without doubt - so congratulations to Team China Racing!
Renault e.dams took the Constrictor's Title for the season which will have delighted Team principal Alain Prost - although having spoken with him a few times about his faith in electric cars - without doubt he'll only be happy when both driver and car take top slot!
The true winner over the weekend of course was all of us! As more and more people are enthused by electrons and how they can inexorably replace what we have today - it means everybody can safely breathe a sigh of relief - literally!
There is no doubt in my mind that we are on the cusp of great change. A change in how we research and develop a sustainable 21st century - how we make and use energy - how we move from A to B.
An integral part in all this effort resides within organisations such as Formula E and Virgin Galactic - so I have enjoyed a truly electrifying weekend in esteemed company and I'm feeling blessed!
And finally - thanks to Clare, Gemma & Phoebe at Virgin, Keith Johnston, Chetan Maini and the Mahindra guys, and Monika at Rimac for your kindness, hospitality, and encouragement!
And of course - thanks Gisli!