Submarine race to begin
Bath University submarine racer represents the UK
Competing students will clamber into scratch-built submarines later this month for the 2012 European International Submarine Races.
This ever so slightly Wacky Races-style endeavour will take place in QinetiQ’s huge testing tank in Gosport, Hampshire.
a Wacky Races-style endeavour
The UK will be represented by a team from Bath (let’s hope their town of origin is the water-filled vessel by the end.) The University of Bath team will be up against two Canadian and two North American teams.
The challenge is to build a working human-powered submarine. Each will be piloted below the surface of Europe’s largest freshwater tank by a driver wearing scuba apparatus.
This is the first time such races have taken place outside the USA, where the University of Bath has previous form, having competed there three times.
Made up of six young men and two women, Bath’s team plan to put theoretical knowledge to good practice. Seven of the team have studied Mechanical Engineering, and the eighth has studied Aerospace Engineering.
Key sponsors of the eISR include the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST), QinetiQ, and The Society of Naval Architects & Marine Engineers (SNAME.)
A panel of distinguished judges will watch the proceedings. It’s headed by Vice Admiral Sir Robert Hill and will be looking to award a spectacular engraved crystal sculpture to the winning team.
The sculpture depicts Alexander the Great being lowered into the Bosphorous in the world’s first submarine in 332BC. It’s currently being created by Admiral Frank Grenier CB, formerly head of the Royal Navy submarine service and now an engraver of note.
Performance will be measured objectively, based on the daily top speeds and least faults. The judges will award points for the quality of design and manufacturing too.
The 2012 European International Submarine Races will take place from 25-29 June at QinetiQ’s Ocean Basin in Gosport, England.
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