We take Land Rover’s Discovery 4 on a whistle-stop tour of Weymouth’s new national sailing academy.
With less than a year to go to the Olympic games, preparations at the Weymouth sailing venue were in full swing as we loaded up the Discovery 4 and cruised smoothly down to Portland
Marina. The Land Rover’s torquey SDV6 engine and 8-speed automatic gearbox made light work of the journey, even with a twin-outboard 7m Ribcraft in tow. Once on site, the finger-tip low ratio mode and optional rear view cameras made manouevring the trailer onto the National Sailing Academy’s slip a surprisingly relaxed operation.
Champion weight lifter
Thanks to its seven comfortable seats, the Discovery 4 can handle an entire crew of sailors
but we were more interested in its mammoth load- carrying capacity. It can tow 3,500kgs and with both rows of rear seats folded you have almost two metres of load length to play with. We were able to help John Tweed, the CEO of the National Sailing Academy, ferry a huge pile of gear for the youngsters’ training races.
Going for gold
Exploring west of Portland, we eased the Discovery 4 down a narrow lane to the
almost deserted shore at Seatown, a tiny hamlet beneath the sandstone heights of Golden Cap. The standard electronic air suspension absorbed every rut and ridge as we picked our way down to the shingle beach where centuries ago the mouth of a tiny river formed a perfect smugglers’ landing. Slipping the vehicle’s Terrain Response system into gravel mode helped us maintain perfect traction even on the loose shingle surface.
As the sun started sinking we drove on to Lyme Regis in air-conditioned calm, revelling in the soft leather seats and user- friendly layout of the Discovery 4’s interior. Parking at the water’s edge, we watched the low light dance across the moored boats and warm the old stone quays of
the Cobb. The scene was as exquisitely English as the icon of British engineering that had brought us here.