Spain take the title in Solent University's annual model yacht race

BEng (Hons) Yacht and Powercraft Design first-year Southampton Solent University student Alvaro Guell who is from Spain has won this year's model yacht race. The yacht race is an annual event running for more than 40 years for Solent University yacht engineering students.

This was Alvaro's first attempt at designing, building and racing a yacht, as his main passion is power vessels. Second place was taken by Marcus Mauleverer and followed closely by Harry Biddle both students were representing ‘Team GB’.

Giles Barkley, Programme Group Leader of the yacht engineering courses at Solent University says, “The sun was out, but the wind direction was a little awkward. Nonetheless, all the yachts sailed up wind very well. There were only a few collisions, resulting in one or two sinking.

Congratulations to all three podium winners, who now go on to join the illustrious hall of yacht design fame.”

This year, 40 first-year students studying yacht engineering competed for the title on Friday 13 May at Gosport Boating Lake, under the scrutiny of their lecturers. This annual race is now part of the first-year unit assessment for students.

Students spend 100 hours designing and building the vessels, with 85% of the unit mark awarded on their computer aided design, and the build quality of their models. They then race them upwind and downwind to pass their design unit. The last 15% of their mark is awarded on how their yacht performs on race day.

Previously successful winners of this annual race are now responsible for designs of Open 60 race yachts and Ben Ainslie Racing’s Americas Cup campaign.

"As usual, the standard of design and build of the yachts was high. This year, two students had incorporated wing sales as used on Ben Ainslies Americas Cup challenge yachts. Both sailed well, but just missed out on podium positions,” adds Giles.

With a reputation for leading the world in maritime education and technology, Solent continues to produce graduates who shape the world of sailing, including: Jason Ker, designer of many famous race yachts including Americas cup yachts; and Guillame Verdier, who designed the yachts that came both first and second at 2012 Vendee Globe.

On the sailing-side, world-class alumni include: Helena Lucas, who won Great Britain’s first ever sailing gold at the 2012 Paralympics; Paul Goodison who took gold at the 2008 Olympics; and Herve Piveteau, who sailed to victory in the Production Boat Class at the Mini Transat 2008.

You can watch a short film about the day on Solent’s YouTube channel.

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