A sailing contest that means business
WAGENINGEN _ When adults stand waist-deep and eagle-eyed in a shallow basin at the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands radio-steering model sailboats _ as they did Jan. 18 _ they mean business. On that day, 14 teams of Dutch university students _ would-be naval designers and engineers _ entered a race with models that were assessed for speed, maneuverability and innovation. “Almost everything was permitted for the design and construction” says Rogier Eggers, project manager at MARIN, an 84-year-old center doing hydrodynamic research and maritime technology.
The sailing contest is an annual event. But one that’s different each time. “Every year the rules are adapted slightly to prevent copying from previous years,” says Eggers. “This year there was only a limitation to the sail surface (max. 0.85 m2) and the depth of the basin (0.75 m) to stimulate the designs at restricted water depth and area for propulsion by means of sails.” The winning team _ Jorrit van Rhijn, Sander van der Horst, Laurens Kranendonk en Joost Nijhoff _ designed a catamaran with 2 wing sails.
MARIN’s role is to turn hydrodynamic and nautical technology into innovative products for the maritime industry, including yachting. Its annual design and sailing contest gives students a chance to develop new ideas into future possibilities. MARIN’s research activities have been the gold standard in naval design and engineering since 1929. Over the years it has developed special test labs such as a deep water towing tank (1951), a shallow water basin (1958), a high speed basin (1965), a wave and current basin (1973), a cavitation tunnel (1979) and a sea-keeping and maneuvering basin in 1999. The center employs about 300, has an annual turnover of € 33 million and a branch operation in Houston, USA