Day 6: Conference and Prize Giving

The last day consisted of the Robotic Sailing Conference followed by the prize giving. The keynote for the Conference was Dr Victor Lobo, Director of the Portuguese Naval Academy. He gave insight to the extent of the Portuguese naval operations, how they currently use autonomous sea-going vehicles, how they expect to use these in the future and some of the current hurdles.

The Portuguese navy has one of the world's largest marine areas, it's hard to believe given Portugal is such a small country, but there are islands that belong to Portugal in the Atlantic that make this area very large. It was very interesting to hear that the Navy is interested in unmanned autonomous seagoing vehicles for surveillance purposes, whether it be sailing or motor powered. Especially to monitor for drug smugglers and other illegal activities.

The Results

I'll cut to the chase, Team Anemoi came 4th out of 7 in the Micro-sailboat class. Given our handicap, we are very satisfied with this position. We even beat ENSTA, the team which leant us their spare boat, and whose boat was the same size, and whose team was much bigger and who had been working with robotic sailing boats for a couple of years.

The micro sailboat class had the following results:

  • 1st: Southampton: A team of university students doing this for fun.
  • 2nd: The Neal's: The other family effort, lead mainly by Mark Neal.
  • 3rd: AberSailbot: This team uses the same boat hull as The Neal's, but is operated by a group of students.

The sailboat class had the following results:

  • 1st: University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: This team had a dual wing-sail boat and had very consistent results throughout the competition.
  • 2nd: HÅ-EB: ENSTA / Åland: This is the combined team who came together to work on one boat. Åland was too far away to transport their boat, they worked together with ENSTA, the French team.
  • 3rd: University of Porto - INSEC: The Portuguese hosts.