Team Tarka prepare for second attempt at world championships
After last year's successful first attempt by a UK entrant at the World Championship of Inter-Collegiate Solar Boating, Team Tarka II are now preparing for their second visit to Arkansas.
This year's Solar Splash event takes place from 9 to 13 June in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and the University of Southampton will again be the only UK entrant. At last year's event Team Tarka put up a spirited challenge, coming away with a string of awards and a very creditable 10th place.
Taking place over five days, the event comprises different water-based competitions which test speed, manoeuvrability, endurance, design, and innovation. Last year Tarka ended the event in 10th place (guaranteeing their competitor number this year), and won the Teamwork Award, the Sportsmanship Award, and achieved ‘Best Score for a Rookie Team’. The boat was placed third in the qualifying event and came joint first in the Silver Medal race. With a Union Jack flying from the boat and emblazoned on its prow, it wasn’t hard to spot Tarka amongst the other competitors.
This year, there are a number of new developments. Dr Reuben Wilcock of the School of Electronics and Computer Science is managing the project. 'A really exciting development this year is that we have four Ship Science students at the core of the Tarka II team,' he says, 'and they have been working extremely hard on the new hull.
'Because of their knowledge and experience they have been able to perform more theoretical simulations on the hull during the design stage. They even built a scale model of the design and tank-tested it to confirm the performance increase over the Tarka I boat.'
A carbon fibre composite is being used for the hull material to make it as light and stiff as possible. Another important change this year is that Tarka's drive power has been more than doubled, with a maximum of 25kW possible from the dual motor engines. Custom propellers will also help achieve the best possible performance with this engine.
The team are aiming for a podium position but still have a long way to go before the new boat is ready. Interested sponsors are needed to help support the team's work over the next few months, and the shipping of the boat to Arkansas. If you are interested in sponsoring Team Tarka II and having your company logo emblazoned on the new hull contact Valentin Muenzel.
Team Tarka II are pictured here at the University Boathard at Wood Mill, with last year's boat. The project is led by Dr Peter Wilson of the ECS Electronics Systems and Devices research group.
For further information contact Joyce Lewis; tel.+44(0)23 8059 5453.