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Monday 8 June 2015

The annual model yacht race...

Pierre-Antoine Tesson from France has won this year’s model yacht race – an annual event that began more than 40 years ago as a bit of end of term fun – for Southampton Solent University yacht engineering students.

Winner Pierre Antoine Tesson.

It was a close fought race, but the first-year BEng (Hons) Yacht and Powercraft Design student had already scored highly for his design and build. Marin Lauber from Switzerland came second and Aladin Montel, also from France, took third place.

Giles Barkley, Programme Group Leader of the yacht engineering courses says, “Congratulations to Pierre-Antoine on a very well deserved win. All three boats were excellent, beautifully designed and built. The sun was out, conditions were good and we didn’t finish until the early evening.”

First place Pierre Antoine Tesson from France, Marin Lauber from Switzerland came second and Aladin Montel, also from France, took third place.

This year, 30 first-year student yacht designers competed for the coveted title on warm and sunny Friday 5 June at Gosport Boating Lake, under the scrutiny of their lecturers.

The annual race now forms part of the first-year unit assessment for students on Solent’s BEng (Hons) Yacht and Powercraft Design and BEng (Hons) Yacht Design and Production degree courses.

The students spent 100 hours designing and building the vessels to conform to the yacht design rules, 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.

This year the University is celebrating 25 years of Yacht Engineering degrees at Southampton Solent. 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, who is currently working on Sir Ben Ainslie’s GB America’s Cup bid; Guillame Verdier, who designed the yachts that came both first and second at 2012 Vendee Globe; and leading UK designer, leading UK yacht designer, Ed Dubois.

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.

For more information about the yacht engineering courses visit

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