Sailing boat
Picture:​ Frowin Winkes​​

Flying boat of cashews won in Italy

​Chalmers’ students continue to perform at the top in the student sailing competition 1001VelaCup in Italy. The regatta was cancelled this year due to Corona but was replaced with a design competition that Chalmers team won.
​Around 30 students from different grades and educational tracks have since the autumn semester 2019 been involved in the project of designing a racing boat with the final goal 1001VelaCup in Italy. Far into the spring, it was still uncertain whether there would be any sailing in Italy. The idea was to also build the boat, but then the news came. The regatta was cancelled and replaced with a design competition. 

A total of 20 universities were invited to the competition. In competition with six other university teams from Germany and Italy, Chalmers' team submitted drawings, technical detailed descriptions, photos, information about construction processes and more, as well as a report of almost 200 pages. The submitted material was assessed on the three aspects innovation, thoroughness and presentation. 

An extreme design 

According to Lars Larsson, professor at Mechanics and Maritime Sciences and supervisor of Chalmers Formula Sailing, the construction was by far the most extreme construction in the competition. The boat sails on foils, which lift the hull out of the water. 

“The real challenge was to achieve stability in the flying condition. The boat becomes extremely unstable there. Through a newly developed method with separate flaps on the starboard and port sides and an advanced mechanical control system, the boat could be made as stable as without foils" says Lars Larsson. 

The boat is built according to the R3 class rule which limits the boat in length, beam, sail area and that it must be naturally renewable or made of recyclable materials. In Chalmers' case, a high-performance dinghy for two sailors built from a bio-composite consisting of flax fibres, balsa wood and a thermoset plastics based on cashew nuts. 

From start to finish 

Chalmers Formula Sailing has been conducted within one of Chalmers' Tracks courses. This means that the students are given the conditions to create cross-border competencies according to their own wishes. Fabian Myrheim Ebbesson is in his final year of his master's degree in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering. He was Chalmers Formula Sailing's team leader and is very pleased with both the design and the training element. 

"It feels very good to get the recognition from the judges of the 1001 Vela Cup. It’s a confirmation that our performance is of a high standard, not only in technical development but also in the presentation of the work performed. In this project, we had the opportunity to really get acquainted with a complex problem and drive the development from an idea to finished drawings" says Fabian Myrheim Ebbesson. 

This was the third year Chalmers participated in the competition. Chalmers students won the regatta in the first year of 2018, the following year they finished third. This year, they took back the place at the top of the podium. 

Become a part of the team 

It’s already time to aim for upcoming competitions. If you are a student interested in moving Chalmers Formula Sailing further, please register on the link below. 


Chalmers is also recruiting a new project manager since Lars Larsson is about to retire. If you are working on Chalmers and interested in supervising this exciting project, please contact Lars as soon as possible at lars.larsson@chalmers.se.

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Published: Wed 30 Sep 2020.