Our cable camera jobs are earning us quite a reputation – so much so that this summer, we were honoured to be asked by ACS (Aerial Camera Systems) to provide our services for Wimbledon Fortnight. With AELTC taking over the role of Host Broadcaster for the first time (previously it was the BBC), they've added a lot of innovation to the event – one item being the cable camera, or wirecam as it's known in Wimbledon circles. ACS are one of AELTC's established suppliers for specialist cameras and, having worked with us on the races at Cheltenham, asked us if we'd come on board for Wimbledon – and of course we jumped at the chance.

Our job was to provide 2 x 35m towers and the infrastructure to attach the cable camera system. The system, known as 'Colibri' is 381m long. We also assisted CAMCAT with the installation of their system by helping them rig/ de-rig the ropes between the towers.

This way of doing things is still a rarity for the UK but very common in our Olympic work. Cost is obviously a deciding factor. Cable cams are used elsewhere, for example at the Grand National. But quite often the system is strung between mobile cranes – still expensive but for a one or two day event, is cheaper than building towers. For a week long (Cheltenham) or 2 week long (Wimbledon) event, mobile cranes would be astronomically expensive as they have to be fully manned 24 hours a day.

The Unusual way is to bring towers into the mix. Where height over 15m is needed, then tower crane tower on a ballasted x-base is a cheap solution. Up to 15m we can easily do things in truss. Ground conditions have to be taken into consideration – the ground must be suitable to support the tower. AELTC were asked to carry out a geo-technical survey of the two tower sites for Wimbledon, and we also had to convince AELTC and the golf club on which the towers stood that we would not cause damage to the fairway.

This is probably the biggest challenge – not causing damage during construction and delivery, although workingon the Olympics in Greenwich Park, stood us in good stead in terms of appreciating the need to protect the trees/ ground etc.

Appearance of the towers was another challenge – to fit in with AELTC aesthetics, one tower ended up draped in camouflage netting. Also the camera system is normally up to 300m long. AELTC wanted greater travel to get better coverage, so CAMCAT extended the range of their system to 400m which meant extra forces (approximately 50%) being applied to the towers so we had to use larger x-bases and more ballast.

The job was a resounding success – happy clients and happy TV audiences...Ace!

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