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The Results: Schools' Powerboat Challenge 2018


We recently hosted the annual Schools’ Powerboat Challenge in which teams from local schools and sea cadet groups are asked to design, build and race remote control model powerboats.

Powerboat Challenge 2018 overhead view of contestants working at edge of Haslar Ocean Basin

On Friday 29th  June 2018, more than 80 future designers, scientists and engineers, aged 13-15, from across the south coast raced their powerboats in one of the largest hydrodynamic facilities in the world: QinetiQ’s Ocean Basin at Haslar in Gosport.

This annual competition is organised and hosted by QinetiQ graduates. The event was attended by a number of VIPs, including Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, Lee on the Solent, Stubbington & Hill Head, who said:

“The QinetiQ Powerboat Challenge is a fantastic local event which encourages students to take up STEM subjects and could help spark a lifelong passion for science and engineering for our young people. I was delighted to attend again this year and to talk to the young people involved. I am extremely proud of the students from Bay House School who received the Teamwork Award this year!”

Other VIPs included representatives from other key event supporters from significant maritime organisations including the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST); and the Smallpeice Trust.

Captain Matt Bolton Royal Navy said:

“The QinetiQ Schools’ Powerboat Challenge 2018 has been an exceptional event. I was immensely impressed by the ingenuity and creativity of the 14 teams in building, testing and racing a variety of different designs that resulted in a hard-fought and thoroughly entertaining competition. “I am extremely grateful to QinetiQ for organising and hosting the event, which is especially important as we celebrate the Year of Engineering and encourage young people to take a closer look at the amazing opportunities in this exciting field.

“Congratulations to the overall winners, Warsash Sea Cadets and it was a privilege for me to present the Design Award to Hamble School.”

The Winning Powerboat Challenge 2018 team pictured with Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage at Haslar Ocean Basin

Steve Fitz-Gerald, Managing Director - Maritime, Land and Weapons at QinetiQ, commented:

“This event brings together our future generations of designers, scientists and engineers.  It also provides an opportunity for QinetiQ graduates to engage local communities in planning and executing this important STEM event. This is the 10th year that QinetiQ has hosted the event. The fact that we have so many ‘returning’ teams is testament to the excitement that is generated. I look forward to welcoming the teams back next year – with hopefully some newcomers as well”.


1st Place: Warsash Sea Cadets
2nd Place: Chamberlayne College
3rd Place: Carisbrooke College
Design Award, sponsored by the Smallpiece Trust: The Hamble School
Innovation Award, sponsored by RINA: Carisbrooke College
Teamwork Award, sponsored by IMarEST: Bay House School
Judges’ Choice Award, sponsored by QinetiQ: LWS Academy

If your school is interested in taking part in the Schools’ Powerboat Challenge 2019, please email: PowerboatChallenge@qinetiq.com.