VIDEO: RGU engineers go head-to-head in land yacht race on Aberdeen beach

Young engineers from the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen did not quite have the wind beneath their wings yesterday as they went head-to-head racing handmade land yachts.

But more than 140 third-year engineering students had fun all the same when put their designs to the test at Bridge of Don beach on Friday.

They spent more than two months of hard work designing, constructing and assembling their crafts.

Unfortunately, the land yachts couldn’t perform to their potential due to the lack of wind, but students still enjoyed learning mathematical, analytical and team working skills.

The land yachts were comprised of a 656ft go-kart style body with brakes, steering and a fixed wing, and were conceived and built entirely by the students within their teams.

No pushing or pulling of the devices was allowed, regardless of wind conditions, so the yachts had to utilise the ‘wing’ to its maximum potential – previous races have allowed the use of pedals to augment the sail.

The students had three attempts to complete a 100m time trial across the beach weaving through obstacles to test their manoeuvrability, brakes, steering and the pilot’s handling skills, with gold, silver and bronze trophies presented to the three fastest teams.

Team D – made up of Erin Devaney, Birzhan Badel, Akmam Chowdhury, Scott Goodman, Stefan Malcolm, Oliver Moore and Calum Morrison – were eventually crowned winners.

Prizes have also been awarded for build quality, functionality, safety features, performance timings and structural integrity of the yachts after the race.

The students carefully researched and designed their yachts before setting to work on the fabrication process with a budget of £200 per team.

Dr Morgan Adams, module coordinator from RGU’s school of engineering, said: “I thought it went as well as it could have gone with the weather. It wasn’t really windy enough. But it was probably the best atmosphere we’ve ever had doing this. I’m really proud of the students. Every single one of them worked really hard. We had some good designs, no two yachts were the same.

“This is the first year we have trialled the new design brief, opting for a fixed wing instead of a sail as they have shown to be more efficient.

“We also worked with a plastic chassis instead of a metal one, so the emphasis was more on aerodynamics.”

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