Power boat race pits student against each other

21:22, Jun 09 2014
boat race
BOAT RACE: Enthusiastic engineering students watch the 2014 Waikato University boat race. From left: Thomas Duncan, Marcus Jackman, Todd Carswell, Paul Newton-Jackson.

The Waikato turned on a spectacular autumn day last week for the university's annual engineering department boat race.

Race co-ordinator, engineering lecturer Rob Torrens, said 31 teams made up of first-year engineering students were tasked with designing a radio-controlled battery-powered boat within certain design parameters.

These were then raced over a course set out on the campus pond.

"The students are given about five weeks to work on their entries so they can understand the engineering concepts involved and get used to using CAD design.

"The first-year students are usually assisted by senior (fourth-year) students with second and third years helping out with the entertainment," Torrens said.

Boats this year were built in the air-boat design propelled by a fan and steered by a tail-plain similar to an aircraft.


The end result of the students' technical abilities were tested in atmosphere of general rivalry and mirth with varying degrees of success.

Teams raced under the national banners of nations from Argentina to the Yemen.

The Vatican City's entry failed to gain celestial help and had to be rescued by a bunch of cut-throats in a duck punt.

Eventual winners were Team Argentina, which included Matt Gerbich, Hamish Nicoll, Sukhjit Pal Singh and Campbell Wray. For their efforts the team were awarded a Pak ‘n Save voucher sponsored by Mighty River power.

Waikato Times