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New grass trimmer and brush cutter from EGO

New grass trimmer and brush cutter from EGO: Leading battery-powered outdoor power equipment specialist EGO Power Plus; is expanding its Pro X range with a new heavy-duty grass trimmer and brush cutter which are ideal for all-day use.

Both the STX4500 Pro X loop-handled grass trimmer and the BCX4500 Pro X bike-handled brush cutter boast a powerful 1.6KW motor and are an integral part of EGO’s new Pro X series. They are well-balanced for more comfortable all-day working and feature a 45cm cutting diameter with a 2.7mm line and rapid reload head.

New grass trimmer and brush cutter from EGO

New grass trimmer and brush cutter from EGO

Chris Buck, Product Manager at EGO, said: “Garden and groundscare professionals need heavier-duty electric tools that have the power to work all day and the durability to last for years. Our new Pro X range brings the benefits of battery power to a market segment that until now has had to rely on petrol tools – that is no longer the case.”

Both models come with a rear-geared motor and are compatible with all portable EGO ARC Lithium batteries. They feature a carbon fibre drive shaft that reduces weight while maintaining stability and strength. They are compatible with EGO’s metal brush cutter blades and its Rotocut attachment for the toughest of tasks.

Ease of operation and user comfort are assured through features such as the three working speed modes with a variable speed trigger allowing for maximum control for any task, adjustable harness points and tool-free handle adjustment.

The new STX4500 grass trimmer with loop handle is the ideal choice for landscapers, facilities managers and municipal users. EGO’s Rapid Reload head and 2.7mm twist line is simple to load with line when empty, reducing downtime in the field.

Alternatively, the BCX4500 brush cutter with ergonomic bike handles is perfectly balanced for extended use and enables the user to cover a wide area with ease. The controls are conveniently positioned on the handle and include both battery life and speed indicators.

Both tools are part of the new PRO X series of hard-wearing and powerful tools for professionals, which also includes a lawn mower, chainsaw, hedge trimmers and our next-generation PGX battery charging solution.

For more information on the new PRO X series from EGO, visit; www.egopowerplus.co.uk.

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Release the pressure with new washer from EGO

Release the pressure with new washer from EGO: Leading battery-powered outdoor power equipment specialist, EGO Power Plus, is introducing an industry-leading cordless pressure washer.

The innovative HPW2000E combines heavy-duty cleaning power with market-leading battery run times. Featuring the company’s tried and tested Peak Power™ technology, its powerful motor can deliver pressure of up to 200 Bar or 2900psi, firing out more than 300 litres of water per hour.

Release the pressure with new washer from EGO

Release the pressure with new washer from EGO

Andrew Frohock, Product Manager at EGO, said: “The HPW2000E brings a new level of power and performance to cordless pressure washers. With this step change in technology, users no longer have to choose between mains connectivity and high-pressure capabilities.”

The first pressure washer from EGO, it features a dual battery port – and the ARC Lithium batteries are compatible with all other EGO products, providing additional versatility and reducing user costs. Standard features include remote mode selection for intuitive control, plus power and battery charge level indicators all integrated into the wand.

The HPW2000E also has large 185mm wheels and a telescopic pull-out handle for ergonomics and easy transportation. A garden hose connector is included for standard hose connection, along with a siphon hose to allow water to be taken from any fresh water source or reservoir. Quick-connect hoses, an included foam cannon, and a selection of nozzles deliver complete control for the most effective, efficient results encompassing a range of different cleaning tasks.

The EGO Power Plus Pressure Washer has a nozzle for every cleaning situation, with all nozzles featuring a bayonet system which makes switching between them easy and simple. The design of each nozzle has been optimised to create a uniform fan of water, improving efficiency and preventing water atomisation. Turbo is the most powerful nozzle in the EGO range, for use on the hardest surfaces. The 15° nozzle is ideal for brick, concrete and driveways; the 25° attachment is for cleaning decking, wheels and ATVs; while the 40° nozzle is perfect for general cleaning of windows and cars or vans. A premium Brass foam cannon is available as a separate accessory for more specialist applications.

The pressure washer is part of a series of exciting lifestyle product launches from EGO in 2024. They are supported by EGO’s next-generation battery charging solution to ensure these robust products always have the power they need throughout the day.

For more information on the latest products from EGO, visit; www.egopowerplus.co.uk

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Protect turf from the inside out

Protect turf from the inside out: Greenkeepers across the UK are turning to strobilurin-based fungicide Insignia® to keep their turf protected this summer. With its key ingredients helping to prime the turf immune system, resist disease attacks, withstand heat and drought, and grow more efficiently, Insignia® works in a variety of ways to keep turf green, strong and healthy.

As a fungicide, Insignia® works by severely inhibiting the mitochondrial respiration inside the cells of pathogenic fungi, preventing the breakdown of carbon that is required for fungi to produce the energy they need to function. As well as stopping fungi, it also works by triggering a cascade of positive events which lead to plant health benefits. In a nutshell, it works both by stopping negative forces, and encouraging the good.

Protect turf from the inside out

Protect turf from the inside out

At this time of year, red thread is a particular threat that Insignia® helps to banish. The fungal infection causes slow growing grass and red to coral-pink strands – not ideal on prized pieces of turf! Insignia® controls diseases like this and dollar spot – which creates pale, blighted areas of turf – ensuring continued grass health throughout the summer.

While it’s suitable for application all year round, Insignia® must be applied in temperatures between 5-25°C for best results. Unlike other fungicides, it is ‘rain-fast’ after only one hour, meaning that greenkeepers can use the product without fear that it will immediately be rained off the plant.

An active ingredient within Insignia®, Pyraclastrobin, serves as a weather-resistant reservoir, meaning that the health-giving formula is released across the surface of the grass over several weeks. Not only that but translaminar movement through the leaf builds a concentration of the active substance on both sides of the leaf – meaning continued protection for the whole plant.

With unpredictable weather in the UK becoming the norm, it’s also vital to be able to rely on the weather-resistant properties of any products used. Insignia® helps turf withstand drought and heat, while also helping grass to regulate responses during stressful events. It’s no wonder that Insignia® is proving so popular with greenkeepers interested in keeping turf green and healthy this year!

To find out more about Insignia®, visit Insignia – BASF Pest Control Solutions UK or to explore BASF’s wider turf products, visit https://www.pestcontrol.basf.co.uk/en/Products/Product-innovation/Turf/

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New tractor mowers from EGO

New tractor mowers from EGO: Following the ground-breaking success of EGO’s zero-turn ride-on mowers, leading battery-powered outdoor power equipment specialist, EGO Power Plus, is expanding its ride-on range with two new tractor mowers.

The twin-blade tractor mowers utilise up to six EGO ARC Lithium™ 56V portable batteries, providing the same power and performance as the equivalent petrol machines. Using EGO’s portable batteries enables the user to tailor the amount of capacity they use, giving them flexibility with run-time, cost, and usage in other EGO tools in the range.

New tractor mowers from EGO

New tractor mowers from EGO

Vince Brauns, Group Product Director at EGO, said: “Following the success of our zero-turn Z6 range, we wanted to introduce more mowers to ensure we could deliver a product for every user’s needs. The new EGO ride-on tractors set the standard in battery-powered collection and side-discharge mowers. Users can now cut substantially sized lawns in comfort and with complete confidence in battery longevity.”

The new range includes the TR3800E-B 98cm ride-on collection tractor mower and the TR4200E 107cm ride-on side discharge version. Both come with powerful twin blades and pressed steel decks to ensure that the mowers combine power and performance with robust durability.

The mowers feature a front mounting that can house up to six EGO batteries and features the company’s Peak Power technology, enabling the machine to draw on the power from all batteries at once. Both models come with the CHV1600E, a 1600W fast charger that fully charges six 10Ah EGO 56V ARC Lithium™ batteries in as little as three hours.

For improved operability there is an LCD control display centrally mounted on the dashboard, enabling quick and easy adjustments to both travel and blade speeds as well as providing real time data on battery capacity. A spring-assisted adjuster with 8 pre-sets provide cutting heights of 25mm to 100mm. In addition, Bluetooth connectivity enables the user to remotely monitor machine performance and ensure that batteries are charged and ready for cutting.

Driver comfort includes an adjustable spring suspension seat and large, wide tyres which ensure both a smoother ride, added grip and better weight distribution to protect lawn integrity. LED headlights enable safe use in low-light conditions while a front bumper helps protect the chassis from potential impact damage.

The TR3800E-B 98cm ride-on collection tractor mower has collection or mulch capabilities, with a substantial 300-litre collection box to maximise cutting times. Large handles make removing and replacing the box ergonomic and easy, while a single level makes emptying the collection box quick and simple.

The TR4200E ride-on side discharge tractor mower offers even greater productivity when grass collection is not required. It can cover up to 2 acres on a single charge and has an enhanced 107cm cutting width.

The ride-on mower range is part of a series of exciting product launches from EGO in 2024. This includes the new Pro X series of hard wearing and powerful tools for professionals, which features a lawn mower, hedge trimmers, line trimmers, brush cutters, and chainsaw.

For more information on the latest products from EGO, visit; www.egopowerplus.co.uk.

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CS100 from GreenMech ‘transforms business’

CS100 from GreenMech ‘transforms business’: The team at Camel Valley Projects Ltd (CVP) Gardening & Property Maintenance admit to being ‘bowled over’ by the power and performance delivered by their new CS100 from GreenMech.

The chipper’s ability to handle wood and green waste of all shapes and sizes has resulted in improved efficiency and cost-savings on jobs conducted across the west coast of Cornwall – so much so that Director Joe Herzberg claims the purchase via Vincent Tractors in early 2024 has ‘transformed his business’.

CS100 from GreenMech ‘transforms business’

CS100 from GreenMech ‘transforms business’

Joe established CVP Gardening & Property Maintenance in 2016, quickly growing the business from one garden and one operative to six full-time staff and over 100 satisfied regular customers! As the scale of the operation increased, as did the demand for Joe to invest in a machine capable of tackling the waste produced from hedge, tree and woodland maintenance. “Clients were either having to fork out on cross-hire machinery, or we were spending time and money disposing of the waste at approved sites” he explains. “Now we can process everything ourselves, charging to cover the cost of our investment and producing re-usable chip and mulch at the same time. In that sense, it has transformed my business.”

“I cannot fault the experience we’ve had with GreenMech and Vincent Tractors.” Joe continues, “I was really impressed with the showroom and, most importantly, the service, help and guidance I received from GreenMech & Vincent Tractors in Fraddon – everyone was incredibly friendly and accommodating throughout the demonstration, purchase and post-purchase process which made the team and I very comfortable with investing in our first woodchipper.”

For chipping in confined spaces, GreenMech’s CS100 is the solution. At just 760mm wide, access to properties, pathways or hard-to-reach locations is no problem, with its 18hp electric start petrol-engine providing reliable power for ‘on-the-spot’ chipping. “We’ve found it to be easy to operate, simple to transport and it’s delivering the power and performance of a much bigger machine – we’re bowled over by what this machine can do.”

Since its delivery, the CS100 has been flat out on a large estate project, and other jobs where material was safely stored ready to be chipped. “We’ve got plans in the pipeline for the next month and more including estates work, woodland management and thinning out some of the bulk waste stored in my own field under our EA waste licence. It is clear this machine will pay for itself in no time, and we couldn’t be more pleased with our decision.”

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Ultimate Offers from ICL for 2024

Ultimate Offers from ICL for 2024: Ultimate Offers are a range of popular tank-mixes from ICL that contain various combinations of nutrition combined with Syngenta’s plant growth regulator Primo Maxx II.

These packages are versatile for application on multiple areas of a golf course, including greens, tees, surrounds, fairways, and roughs. They’re also suitable for use in multiple pitch and stadium applications.

Ultimate Offers from ICL for 2024

Ultimate Offers from ICL for 2024

They offer turf managers top-quality products via highly cost-effective packages, facilitating substantial savings and the potential to earn up to 15 Turf Rewards points, depending on the chosen Ultimate Offer.

Ultimate Offer NK – earns 5 Turf Rewards points

  • 1 x 5L Primo Maxx II
  • 1 x 200L Greenmaster Liquid NK
  • 13 x Syngenta XC 04 nozzles
  • ICL Application Booklet

Ultimate Offer High N – earns 5 Turf Rewards points

  • 1 x 5L Primo Maxx II
  • 1 x 200L Greenmaster Liquid High N
  • 13 x Syngenta XC 04 nozzles
  • ICL Application Booklet

Ultimate Offer S & S – earns 5 Turf Rewards points

  • 1 x 5L Primo Maxx II
  • 1 x 200L Greenmaster Liquid Spring & Summer
  • 13 x Syngenta XC 04 nozzles
  • ICL Application Booklet

Ultimate Offer CalMag – earns 5 Turf Rewards points

  • 1 x 5L Primo Maxx II
  • 1 x 200L Greenmaster Liquid CalMag
  • 13 x Syngenta XC 04 nozzles
  • ICL Application Booklet

Ultimate Offer WSF/18 – earns 10 Turf Rewards points

  • 1 x 20L Primo Maxx II
  • 18 x 15kg Sportsmaster WSF High N
  • 13 x Syngenta XC 04 nozzles
  • ICL Application Booklet

Ultimate Offer WSF/36 – earns 15 Turf Rewards points

  • 2 x 20L Primo Maxx II
  • 36 x 15kg Sportsmaster WSF High N
  • 1 x Syngenta Art of Application Kit
  • ICL Application Booklet

Ultimate Offer Iron – earns 5 Turf Rewards points

  • 1 x 10L Primo Maxx II
  • 1 x 200L Sportsmaster Liquid Fe
  • 13 x Syngenta XC 04 nozzles
  • ICL Application Booklet

Ultimate Offer SMX – earns 5 Turf Rewards points

  • 1 x 5L Primo Maxx II
  • 8 x 1kg Sportsmaster WSF SMX
  • 13 x Syngenta XC 04 nozzles
  • ICL Application Booklet

The offers are available exclusively through ICL distributors.

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

For more news and insightful views, you can follow ICL on Twitter @ICL_Turf

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Spring discounts from Reesink

Spring discounts from Reesink: Spring is on the horizon and that means one thing: cutting season is fast approaching. With that in mind, Reesink Turfcare is supporting customers with discounts on genuine Toro cylinders and bedknives.

The best quality and most precise cut comes from a cylinder mower and in order for this precision machine to give the performance its capable of, it stands to reason it’s fitted with precision engineered parts.

Spring discounts from Reesink

Spring discounts from Reesink

Michael Hampton, parts manager at Reesink Turfcare, explains: “If the bedknife is not perfectly flat, it is impossible to get the bedknife to touch the entire length of the cylinder. And that’s an essential part of a cylinder mower’s construction that makes it a precision cutting tool. Adjust any part of the construction process with, for example, ‘will-fit’ parts and the fit, form and function are affected resulting in a less consistent cut and sub-par after-cut appearance.”

Toro genuine parts are the exact same parts used on the production lines to build the original equipment. Not only that, but they’re manufactured with reliable, high-quality materials to ensure maximum performance with less downtime, and they’ve been rigorously tested to make sure they can withstand the daily stress that come with keeping a course in top condition.

To consider buying an alternative is simply a false economy, says Michael: “If customers have made the decision to invest in a Toro machine, it’s important they understand why fitting genuine parts to match the quality of their initial investment is key. However, we appreciate, as costs rise, it can be tempting to cut corners and that’s why we’re offering our dealers discounts to pass on to their customers.”

To find out what offers are available, customers are advised to contact their local dealer to be sure they’re getting the right part with the exact engineering specifications for their equipment at the best possible price.

To find your nearest Toro dealer, visit reesinkturfcare.co.uk or call 01480 226800.

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Game-changer from Foley

Game-changer from Foley: It isn’t often that a completely new product is introduced into the market which will be a complete game-changer, but that is exactly what has happened at the 2024 BTME exhibition in Harrogate.

The Foley 642 Quick Spin Reel Grinder brings a whole new meaning to quick spin. It is designed to accommodate the widest of mower cylinders and is a simple roll-on roll-off solution to grinding, with the machine sitting at floor level. The wheel in and wheel out action removes all need for heavy lifting facilities, revolutionising the way the groundsman and greenkeepers view touch-up spin grinding. Foley Company’s Professional Grinders already offer the best spin and relief methods for sharpening blades and the new Foley 642 Quick Spin grinder will be complimentary to these methods. It offers a fast, easy operated option for providing a quick touch-up spin, between the regular relief grinding schedules. It is also the perfect solution to sharpening the extra wide, heavy mowers used on sports fields/pitches, which are often cumbersome to load into the standard grinder.

Game-changer from Foley

Game-changer from Foley

Last week Paul Rauker, CEO and President of Foley Company had made the trip to Harrogate to support Foley Company the launch of the world’s first ever professional floor level roll-on, roll-off grinder. ‘This is truly a remarkable occasion’ said Paul. ‘The 642 Quick Spin Reel Grinder is the first of its kind and I’m delighted to be here to acknowledge the significance of our latest development. It is a machine that will appeal to all grounds professionals who are looking to improve the performance and efficiency of their grinding programmes. As the leading manufacturer of Grinding equipment Foley Company is onceagain leading the way in grinding technology. We have developed and patented simple to use controls to save time without compromising on performance.

The patented clamping system effortlessly secures any cutting unit in all configurations and the roller clamp is adjustable for any variety of rollers and groomers. This machine really will change the way we look at grinding in the future!’

The Foley 642 Quick-Spin features simple to use controls, counter balanced spin drive, patented front and rear clamping system for pedestrian mowers and power rear positioning levers for cylinders. It is spin only, with adjustable traverse speed and adjustable spin speed. It will accept up to 42” reel width and operates on 240v/15a power.

Foley Company are looking to supply production models will be available later this year.

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Cost-effective solutions from Terrain Aeration

Cost-effective solutions from Terrain Aeration: We take for granted trees, sports pitches and green spaces in our parks and urban environments, as a natural part of the landscape. Yet, all too often, trees are subjected to stress because of several factors.

Nutrient shortages, surface compaction, and waterlogging, where water drains off hard surface pathways, all have their effect. Sports pitches and open spaces suffer from constant play and foot traffic. Frequently sited on made-up ground, they too experience major problems with drainage. Reductions in Local Authority budgets in recent years are bound to influence the care of trees, parks, pitches and open spaces. While essential to urban communities on many levels, they are costly to the councils who must seek ways of reducing costs. Deep aeration specialists Terrain Aeration has several cost-effective solutions developed over thirty years of treating trees, sports grounds and green spaces.

Cost-effective solutions from Terrain Aeration

Cost-effective solutions from Terrain Aeration

Councils have not had to spend so much money this year on watering trees, but if the trees were aerated and had a water-storing polymer injected, this would be a one-off treatment (unless, for example, the area is regularly used for concerts held each year). These trees would be able to access a higher percentage of oxygen and water, resulting in a stronger root growth and canopy spread. Natural flora and fauna could take over with enormous cost savings to councils. The roots would be less susceptible to rot and anaerobic conditions, resulting in healthier trees. This helps them to live longer and reduce costs by not having to fell, chip and take away the tree, and without the cost of a replacement.

Trees which have had materials stored over the root zone or where too many vehicles have passed over the roots during building works can be helped. Tree Preservation Officers fully endorse the use of the Terralift machine to aerate, decompact and inject oxygen back into the soil structure.

With councils cutting back on spending money on sports facilities, one way of saving money is to carry out deep aeration on sports pitches, instead of putting in new drains. Even with new drains, you would still have compaction panning in between the drain runs, but with the Terralift machine, the complete area is decompacted from one metre to the surface with each shot interlinking with the previous ones. This deep aeration treatment lasts for around 7-12 years, even longer if the ground is spiked as part of the normal aeration process; which would link to the fissures created by the Terralift machine.

Unlike normal aeration, Terrain Aeration’s Terralift machine is designed to penetrate as deep as one metre using a probe, which releases compressed air at a maximum of 20Bar (280psi). This fractures the soil, resulting in fissures that interlink as the Terralift repeats the process on a grid system of two-metre spacings. The network of fissures allows maximum penetration of air and water. On the tail end of the blast, the probe injects dried seaweed that expands and contracts with the moisture content in the ground to allow drainage and air to the roots. The treatment is long term with the cost amortised over the many trouble-free years ahead. Our service has been used by the Royal Parks in London, ranging from Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent’s Park and Greenwich Park to Local Authorities throughout the UK. Working closely with Tree Preservation Officers and Park Managers our treatment goes far beyond the effects of normal aeration to represent long-term savings.

In typical case studies, in Hyde Park we treated areas around the trees and prepared the ground for the huge numbers of visitors attending the various events in the parks. The primary areas to be treated were north of the Bandstand, an area of 10,200 m2 with sycamores and elms, and the ash tree circle north of Serpentine Road. Terrain Aeration has also treated the area around the Horse Chestnut group in Kensington Gardens to the east of Broadwalk and in Regent’s Park, the area beneath the canopies of the first and second line of trees between Chester Road and Ready Money Fountain. An area of two thousand five hundred square metres beneath canopies of Norway maples at the southern end of Marylebone Green has also had the Terralift treatment. In Greenwich Park, we applied our technology across 15,000 m2.

Darlington Council called upon us to treat the trees suffering from compaction in their South Park. With the South Park trees, all the lawn was aerated as well with mycorrhizal fungi. These attach themselves to the tips of the roots and help them break through hard soil, leaving the tree more energy to grow leaves and in size. The soil was very hard and dry around the base, so some fractures were done near to the tree. We injected water-storing polymer into the area to help retain available water from rainfall for the tree roots. On most occasions, treatment is one-metre inside and one-metre outside the canopy drip line, where the growing roots lie. Decompacting around the roots and injecting air into the soil increases the percentage of uptake of oxygen into the root system.

In another case, we found there was a magnesium deficiency coupled with low overall soil fertility around trees in a park. We used our technology to measure light transmission through the leaves on the trees to gain a reading of chlorophyll levels. The likely cause of the problem was that leaf litter is always removed and had been for a century, taking with it the natural nutrients from decaying leaves. There was also severe compaction of the surface around the tree. We injected a tree feed mix containing slow-release general nutrients and magnesium, using the Terralift’s ability to inject granular material via its seaweed carrier, forcing it upwards into the root zone of the trees. This also avoids losing the nutrients to the grass, which would occur with surface treatment.

To find out how we can help with your trees, parks and sports pitches call us on 01449 673783, Email terrainaeration@gmail.com or visit www.terrainaeration.co.uk

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Saving the Champions League from ‘Biblical’ Downpours

Saving the Champions League from ‘Biblical’ Downpours: Managing cup competitions alongside domestic fixtures is difficult at the best of times. But it’s even harder when games in the Champions League need rescheduling.

The extra mid-week travel puts pressure on football’s elite clubs, with some squads clocking up thousands of added miles to complete their fixtures. It’s a complication every manager wants to avoid.

Still, you can’t account for the weather and sometimes it’s so bad a game seems destined for another date. That is, unless you have SIS Pitches managing the playing surface.

Saving the Champions League from ‘Biblical’ Downpours

Saving the Champions League from ‘Biblical’ Downpours

When it rains, it pours

It’s November 29, 2023. Galatasaray are set to host Manchester United in Istanbul for the second leg of their Group A clash.

Rams Park, Galatasaray’s home ground, sees a range of conditions throughout the year, with city temperatures averaging between 20-28°c for the first few months of the season. Cooler temperatures, rain and even snow are common during the winter months, owing to Istanbul’s altitude and coastal position.

Rain was forecast for November 29 – certainly not unusual for the time of year. However, the amount expected to fall is what gave UEFA cause for concern. Observation notes and data collected by SIS on the morning of the game tell their own story. From 10am, thunderstorms would occur throughout the day, bringing near-constant rain up until midnight.

The right system at the right time 

Conscious of a potential postponement, SIS activated its SISAir soil aeration system at 9.15 am. SISAir has been developed to help sports club owners and groundskeepers make the most of root zone growing conditions, making it easier to maintain stronger, healthier turf.

The system is installed just underneath a site’s playing surface. Once in-situ, SISAir can be used for subsurface aeration, water removal and gas exchange. This is done by setting the network of pipes to vacuum mode or pressure mode.

As Ilyas Kobal, Managing Director at SIS Pitches (Eastern Europe) points out: “We knew vacuum mode would be critical throughout the day, so we began with manual operation early that morning to gauge rainfall intensity and the need for both pumps to discharge water.”

According to SIS notes, at 10.18 am the system’s drainage well recorded a level of 50cm, triggering the first pump into action. The rain was heavier than expected throughout the late morning, causing the second pump to start.

A few hours later, just before 1 pm, the pumps were stopped as the well water level fell below the 50cm mark for the first time. The system was proving highly effective, though it would only be a temporary reprieve with more bad weather to come.

“We only had a short period with the pumps off,” adds Ilyas. “But we had proof of concept. These conditions were extremely challenging but the system was more than prepared to handle the strain. That gave us confidence knowing what was to come.”

Will they, won’t they?

As torrential rain continued throughout the day, fans and journalists began to question if the evening game would be called off. One noted the ‘biblical showers in Istanbul’ while another tweeted that the two teams would be ‘playing in a swamp’ if the game wasn’t postponed.

Speculation continued to mount as the U19s competed in a UEFA Youth League match at the nearby Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadium. Video of that match showed the ball barely rolling across a heavily waterlogged pitch making it ‘virtually impossible for players to perform’.

Unlike Rams Park, Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadium is not fitted with SISAir. This demonstrates the importance of effective surface management systems for major sporting events, particularly in regions where poor playing conditions are common.  At Rams Park, water was being siphoned off just as fast as it was settling. At the other stadium, the pitch was effectively unplayable.

Shortly after the U19s match concluded, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand said he was doubtful the evening’s fixture would go ahead, and throughout the afternoon UEFA officials were seen inspecting Galatasaray’s pitch. Some threw match balls into the air to test responsiveness only to find them sticking to the ground upon impact. Many agreed with Ferdinand’s assessment at the time, but the SIS team were confident the evening game would kick-off as planned.

“From 17.15 onwards, we moved the system up gear,” says Ilyas. “The vacuums increased from 60% to 80%, and both pumps continued to run on/off cycles to remove excess liquid. From 18.30, a single pump was sufficient to discharge water as the rain began to ease – this approach is used for a rainfall intensity up to 25mm/h. Even so, the two pumps would have been capable of preparing the pitch in time had conditions worsened.”

A vote of confidence

Despite an extraordinary amount of rain amid intense media speculation, officials remained confident the game would be played. In the early evening, a statement was released from UEFA, which read:

“We are closely monitoring the weather forecast and at this stage the match will go ahead as scheduled.”

This was a vote of confidence for the SISAir system as rain continued to fall while both teams warmed up. Sensor level trend data showed 2.116m3 of water flowed into the well within one minute at maximum rainfall, indicating an overall rate of 127m3 per hour and a rainfall intensity of 15.61 mm/h. These recordings are corroborated when compared with data from NASA instruments taken on the same evening.

“This figure is not unheard of but over the whole day it constitutes a severe storm,” Ilyas concludes. “Even so, we made it clear to UEFA that conditions still fell well within the system’s capabilities and the pitch would be playable. In the end, we were able to remove all excess rainwater and keep the pitch resistance-free. For some fans the final score was a disappointment, but for us this was a clear win away from home.”

Innovative systems, like SISAir, are just one part of SIS’s offering. The company also creates natural, hybrid and artificial surfaces, including running tracks, as well as ongoing maintenance of all pitches regardless of whether they were originally built by SIS.

You can read more about the SISAir here

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