Formula Sailing – a CDIO project at Chalmers

Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate are the keywords of the CDIO initiative, an educational framework proposed by MIT and developed in cooperation with Chalmers and two other universities. A good example of a CDIO project is Formula Student, where students from Chalmers design and build a racing car with which they race against other European Universities in a competition once a year. The present proposal outlines a similar project in Marine Technology – Formula Sailing.


In 2005 Paolo Procesi from the Roma3 University and Yacht Designer Massimo Paperini proposed the 1001 Vela Cup, a competition in yacht racing between Italian Universities. The boats used in the race were to be small dinghies, which had to be designed, built and raced by students from the participating Universities. The idea was immediately adopted by several Italian Universities, and since then the races have been held annually. Around 10 Universities have participated every year. In December 2016 Chalmers was invited, and a new boat was designed and built during 2017/18. This participated in September 2018 and scored first among 13 boats from 8 universities.

The competition

The race is held September 26-29 in Palermo, Italy, as in 2017 and 2018.

The boat

The boat is designed according to a “box rule”, with very few restrictions on dimensions: max length 4.60 m, max beam 2.10 m, max sail area: 33 m2. It must be a monohull. 70 % of the hull weight must come from wood or other material “of vegetable or animal origin”. For the appendages (centerboard and rudder), as well as the bow-sprit carbon fibres are allowed. The mast/boom must be in aluminum and the sails in Dacron (i.e. no exotic materials). External suppliers are permitted for mast/boom and sails. Wing sails are allowed, and so are hydrofoils.

The crew

There must be two crew members, which must be students at the University. They are not required to participate in the design/building of the boat. The sailors must not hold a Grade 3 World Sailing Sailor Code (semi-professional).

Planning for 2019

For 2019 the boat "Linnea", which was designed for the 2018 race, has been updated and strengthened. 

Tracks course

There is now a Tracks course in Formula sailing, giving students the opporunity to take on an exciting challenge with the aim of making "Linnea" foil in 2020. Find out more about the Tracks course (Pdf document)!

Formula Sailing Website

Learn more about the project on the Formula Sailing website!​


For more information contact:

Project supervisors:

Lars Larsson

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Published: Mon 07 Oct 2019.