Boat design initiative culminates in Ockendon, Essex

The Schools Marine Challenge, a unique collaboration between the marine industry and local schools across the south-east and -west England culminated on 9th July with a race day at Ockenden in Essex.

The challenge requires children to form teams and design, build and then race boats against each other. Categories assessed include design, power systems and performance. The challenge is now in its fifth year, with a total of 47 schools entering the three competitions in 2007. Scores of young people are learning more about boating and the marine industry that supports it.

This year, schools have made the most of their local marine industries by linking up with companies in their area. Through these links, the teams have been able to gain a vital insight into the world of boat building and marine engineering, which will ultimately help them with their own boats for the Challenge. Firms involved with the programme include Ocean Dragon P1 World Challenge racing team, Princess Yachts, Maritime Plymouth and Devonport Management Limited, who were so impressed by one pupil who visited them that they offered support for their University studies.