14th SailBot Regatta (6-10 Jun 2022, Lake Quinsigamond, Worcester MA USA)
The week’s weather started out as predicted: clear skies, mid to high 70’s, winds 2-6kts occasional puffs up to 13kts. Monday through Wed events ran pretty much as scheduled (we did do a restart for the Search event when the Cornell boat became totally be-calmed for much of their 10-minute attempt. Due to forecast (and actual!) heavy rains and scattered thunderstorms, the Thursday Long Range/Endurance event was shifted to Friday; Presentations were then moved up to Thursday. Friday was beautiful with the most consistent breezes (5-8kts) of the week.
Regardless of the small field of four boats, it was great to see all on the start line for the initial Fleet race. Surprisingly the fleet consisted of three rigid wing-sail boats (WPI, CU, and VT) and only one traditional (cat-rigged) soft-sail (Pitt). In the shifty light air, the freely-rotating, trim-tab-controlled wing-sail of the WPI boat was the only one to eventually complete the Fleet race.
As the week progressed, various mechanical failures plagued all of the boats and led to several compromised but generally effective systems. Through their combined creativity and interteam collaboration, all boats made it to the water on each of the four sailing days. Each team had moments of brilliance (and serendipity!) resulting in every team winning at least one event.
Congratulations to WPI and their boat “SailGoat” for their overall win! (Rumors are SailBot 2023 will be held on Lake Attitash, MA hosted by the SailBot 2019 winners, Newburyport HS. For further info please contact Sarah Leadbeater <email@example.com>.)