sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Robotic sailing boat sets off across the Atlantic
Robotic sailing boat sets off across the Atlantic

'Robin Lovelock and Snoopy Sloop having a practice run on Bray Lake'    .

Syndicates have been attempting to sail the Atlantic for years with robot sailing boats with limited success, as part of the Microtransat Challenge. Now another somewhat different attempt is being made and, weather permitting, a robot sailing boat called Snoopy Sloop will begin its Transatlantic journey from Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire, on Saturday.

Autumn is not the most auspicious time to cross the Atlantic, in any sort of vessel, but there is no time to spare as the craft could face competition from the other competitors, of which, at last count, there were about six.

Competitors can set off whenever they wish. So far, three attempts have been made since the transatlantic challenge began in 2010 – two by French academics and one by a team from the University of Aberystwyth – all of which have been defeated by a combination of technology failures and the weather.

Three more are registered to attempt the crossing this year, two from France and one from Norway.

This attempt, by a retired scientist, Robin Lovelock, rather than being the result of a wide ranging team, is solely the attempt of Mr Lovelock himself and a few friends. Working on a low budget, he is nevertheless convinced Snoopy Sloop can succeed, after four years of development and seven prototypes - two of which sank - all put through their paces on his local lake, Bray Lake.

The small figure of the cartoon character Snoopy on board was installed 'as a wind up to academics who take it too seriously', he told The Telegraph this month.

The tiny yacht is only 4ft long, weighing just 30lbs and held together in parts by bathroom light cord.

Mr Lovelock, 65, has assembled the vessel in the games room of his house in Sunninghill, Berkshire, from off-the-shelf parts scoured from the internet at a cost of less than £450. The boat will be powered by the wind, but navigated by a solar-powered computer and GPS system.

These will control the rudder and – it is hoped – steer the boat on a preprogrammed route along the Channel, then south towards the Azores to catch the trade winds to the Bahamas and onwards to land near the spot where the Pilgrim Fathers came ashore at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

A tracking device will emit a signal every hour to update Mr Lovelock back home about the boat’s progress – or otherwise. The 30lb vessel is expected to crawl along at around three 2-3kts and – if all goes to plan – will not reach its destination for up to six months.

According to the Telegraph, since April Mr Lovelock, who used to develop military computer systems for Nato, has left Snoopy Sloop to continuously sail a preprogrammed course around the lake, totalling up around 5,500 miles – almost as far as his planned route and comfortably enough to win the challenge, which only requires vessels

The only interruptions have been to make the odd modification, and to retrieve it when it drifts into the bank when the wind drops. 'Thankfully that isn’t something we have to worry about at sea,' he said.
On Bray Lake the yacht has faced winds of up to 50mph, but few waves to speak of – although the waters there were treacherous enough to claim two of the prototypes, which sank.

Mr Lovelock is relaxed about some of the hazards and concerned about others. 'The chances of an encounter with another vessel are so small, and Snoopy should just be brushed out of the way,' he said in an interview with The Telegraph. 'Birds on Bray Lake do like to perch on the boat, but when the wind blows the sea gulls won’t like it, and any mess on the deck will be washed off. It may not have faced big waves yet, but its small size means it should just be able to ride the swell.

'There are certain things to worry about and others not to. The likely problems will be with reliability, and how the navigation system works with the tides.'

While the voyage ahead is a daunting one, Mr Lovelock clearly feels there are some grounds for optimism – Snoopy Sloop has already been programmed for a return trip from the US, back to Barnstaple, in Britain.


by The Telegraph/Sail-World Cruising

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=104252

10:52 PM Thu 29 Nov 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

14 Nov 2012  Deep Blue Electric Outboard by Torqeedo wins DAME Award
24 Oct 2012  'TimeZero Touch' a chart plotter winner with 'pinch and zoom'
10 Oct 2012  Ikaros's two year sail through space - still doing well
19 Sep 2012  Innovative sensors - a future use for cruising sailors?
04 Sep 2012  Rescue response - a step up in future
03 Sep 2012  GPS navigation on iPhone/iPad just got easier for sailing America
01 Aug 2012  Super Rope Cinch: a hundred applications on a boat
25 Jul 2012  Product of the Week: A radar reflector for your grab bag
25 Jul 2012  Product of the Week: A radar reflector for your grab bag
18 Jul 2012  'Nerves of glass' will one day warn you of a yacht's breaking points
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Today, Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) took to the water for the first time from their temporary base in Southampton, sailing their foiling AC45. The boat originally raced under BAR colours during the America’s Cup World Series in 2012-13, and has subsequently been modified to fly on hydrofoils. ... [more]  

As of the 2140UTC report on Day 10 of the first Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, the placings on the water on the water had not changed during the day, but the distances between the boats had reduced. The two easternmost boats, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing continued to lead but is only 4nm ahead of Team Brunel with about 600nm to sail to the turning mark of Fernando de Noronha 220nm off the coast of Brazil. ... [more]  

The calm weather returned on day five of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam as the wave sailors recovered from yesterday’s punishing, but brilliant, conditions. After a chilly start, with the thermometer reading just five degrees celsius, the temperature soon rose with the appearance of the sun, making for another stunning autumn day. ... [more]  

Day five of the Rolex Middle Sea Race has proved a day of reckoning for the competing fleet. The forecast strong northwesterly wind has arrived and consistently blown over 25 knots with gusts exceeding 40 knots. The effect has been to catapult the previously slow moving yachts towards the finish line in Malta. ... [more]  

A day and a night of uncertainty - later, the Doldrums will come to an end for the Volvo Ocean Race teams. By tomorrow morning, the fleet should be sailing safely in the southeasterly trade winds. So – who won this equatorial lottery? What was the best place to cross this convergence zone, where two hemispheres and two weather systems collide? ... [more]  

Known for erratic light airs alternating with sudden gusts that can last a minute or an hour from the giant unstable vertical clouds, the Doldrums (aka more officially the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone) are the unavoidable low-point of leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race for the determined men on Dongfeng. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Onboard Team Alvimedica. The synopsis is pretty straightforward: we are stuck in the Doldrums. Stuck, and stuck real good. All things considered, yesterday was actually pretty decent. We had a quick morning rainsquall that was able to power us south through the first line of ITCZ clouds already towering above our heads by 10AM. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Artie gunning for glory by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Lee Satariano's Maltese J/122, Artie has emerged as the hot favourite to become the overall winner of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race. However, at 16:00 CET, Artie was still 80 miles from the finish and the Mistral storm is still raging. In addition, there are several yachts behind Artie that could still claim the overall prize. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team SCA. Today I would like to share another perspective with you. Given the kind messages from Team SCA followers that we have been receiving onboard (thank you!), it would seem daily reports from our onboard reporter Miss Halloran and our onshore media crew have been doing a wonderful job of sharing our journey thus far. ... [more]  

The 17th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship took place from 15-18 October in San Francisco, USA. Hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, the 2014 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds welcomed 19 international entrants - comprising teams from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Turkey and the United States. ... [more]  

After two days of intense racing at the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, both fleets have completed a full schedule of six light-wind races, and they’ve earned their lay day! Very light and shifty winds were forecast for the day, and it was a nice surprise to see a seven knot side-off breeze fill in early from the North. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Big breeze and lumpy seas by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
There are 92 yachts still racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The expected frontal system arrived around Midnight last night at the northwest corner of the course. Reports of storm force winds and big seas have been received by the Race Committee and 25 yachts had officially retired from the race by 15:00 CET on Wednesday 22 October. ... [more]  

Justin 'Judd' Goldman was 17 years old when he suffered a disabling bone disease. After realizing that there were few sports that he could participate in he discovered sailing. Over the next 58 years he competed successfully in many races throughout the world. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 10 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.nz/com
Several of the On Board Reporters aboard, provide their unique views of Leg 1, Day 10 of the Volvo Ocean Race - in text, images and video: You know when you try to stick two positive magnets together and regardless as to how close you get them they never touch? Well, the ITCZ is a bit like that. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 1 turns inside out in Doldums *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
As reported earlier Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race would seem to have gone from being a tightly fought contest to being a procession to Cape Town. Even though only 40% of the course has been sailed, the distance between the boats are significant (other than the two lead boats) and look set to increase. ... [more]  

Student Yachting World Cup - After those days of sun and light air, the weather was upside-down with a cloudy sky threatening us of heavy shower at any time and a strong wind fluctuating from 15 knots to 25 knots! Two windward-leeward races took place today as the wind became far too heavy in the early afternoon. The 13th race began this morning: a second start occurred under black flag. ... [more]  

2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Over the last few days there have been frantic phone calls between travel agents from competitors at the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage and the oldest event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Over Friday night and into Saturday the Category Three Hurricane Gonzalo passed directly over Bermuda pummelling it with 100+ knot winds. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Big gains for two boats in Doldrums *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Two boats have made big gains in the Doldrums, with the western-most competitors apparently not stopping and sailing though the convergence zone between northern and southern hemispheres, without dropping below 8kts. Team Brunel and Abh Dhabi Ocean Racing have both made big gains on the rest of the fleet - and the two easternmost boats - Team Vestas Wind and Mapfre, in particular. ... [more]  

In spite of Hurricane Gonzalo's thrashing of the Onion Patch last week, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and the people of Bermuda are ready to host the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup, Stage 6 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). All 20 teams have arrived safely from their corners of the world and will practice for a day and race on Wednesday. ... [more]  

While the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup always offers opportunities for young people to have new experiences, coping with Hurricane Gonzalo offered the 14 competitors traveling from overseas to Bermuda a hurdle that strengthened their respect for this island nation. Many of the 14 competitors spent layover time in either hotels or airports and some are now guests in homes without electricity. ... [more]  

Dynamic Stability Systems welcomes last week’s decision by IMOCA to place no further restrictions on its class rule. This permits both the six new IMOCA 60s currently under construction, as well as the existing fleet, to be fitted with the lateral lifting foils which DSS has spent the last decade pioneering. ... [more]  

Groupe Beneteau today announced its sponsorship of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider and ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. Groupe Beneteau is the world's leading yacht builder, and will now become a significant presence in high-performance sailing with its support of both the US national sailing team and North America's premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. It’s the place where the northern and southern winds meet, where a sailing race can be won or lost in an instant. And with its complex and confusing conditions, lack of breeze, and stifling heat – it’s also a place that most sailors can’t wait to see the back of. But there is one good thing about the Doldrums. ... [more]  

The Atlantic has proved to be a test for the VO65s in the Volvo Ocean Race and their teams as a battle of gybing down the west coast of Africa broke out, keeping all boats in a relatively tight-knit pack for much longer than expected. Having passed Morocco and the Canaries, we were drawn to the tricky-to-handle magnet of Cape Verde. ... [more]  

It’s the dawn of a complicated day in the Volvo Ocean Race. Let’s face it: we’re not having a very good time on Dongfeng. We lost distance last night, and our leading position. The day got dull afterwards. Sailing straight ahead, with the spinnaker up, in light winds. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 10 onboard Team SCA. Two days, eight hours, thirty-four minutes, and ten seconds, nine seconds, eight, seven, six, five… over the last few days the clock has gotten louder and louder as it counts down to October 23rd at noon—the time when we cross the equator and the time when myself and six other sailors join the rest of our crew in King Neptune’s court. ... [more]  

For Pablo Arrarte Elorza, the Volvo Ocean Race is a tough challenge. Not as far as physical effort is concerned because this likeable Spaniard is a very strong guy. For Pablo, the race is mostly a culinary war of attrition because the food that the team has bought with it on the race does little to please his gourmet palate. ... [more]  

The 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds kicked off on October 20th in Clearwater, USA, and it was hard work from the start: in 5-6 kt of breeze, offshore to start the day and side-on to close it, pumping was in order for the 54 boys and 28 girls gathered here for the 2014 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championships. ... [more]  

The team at The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta are very happy to announce that entries are now open for the 2015 Regatta, taking place March 5 - 8. The team hopes to see lots of return entries as well as new ones this year, all coming to celebrate the event's 35th year. In order to celebrate this milestone year, there will be some new features this coming season. ... [more]  

After three complete days at sea only three boats competing in the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race have passed the northwest tip of Sicily, roughly the halfway point of the race. The prevailing wind remains weak, but is expected to strengthen this afternoon coinciding with the arrival of bulk of the fleet t the Egadi Islands. ... [more]  

Last week the Volvo Ocean Race was all about VMG downwind sailing, with Dongfeng being the star performer. After DFRT took the lead, they shortly lost it again 36 hours later after hitting something in the water and losing their rudder. Two hours later they were up and running again with the spare in. Impressive stuff. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 9 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.nz/com
Several of the On Board Reporters aboard, provide their unique views of Leg 1, Day 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race - in text, images and video. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Fight to the finish by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Igor Simicic's maxi, Esimit Europa 2 is expected to finish the Rolex Middle Sea Race in the early hours of tomorrow morning. However the 100ft carbon fibre canting keel Maxi is under serious pressure to secure their fourth Line Honours victory in the race. ... [more]  

Student Yachting World Cup - Fourth race day + Video
New improved swell forecasting and more locations from PredictWind
Volvo Ocean Race: Day 9 final report - Lead continually changing
Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - An opportunity for growth
Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet charges the door of the Doldrums Casino *Feature
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Light winds on day 3
Volvo Ocean Race: Navigators throw away the routing textbook
Volvo Ocean Race - The Doldrums, a navigational nightmare + Video
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Maltese yachts top the leader board
Star Sailors League Finals - Torben Grael and Jorge Zarif join fleet
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica heads for the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA, a crew on a mission
Thailand bids for 2016 IODA ‘Optimist’ World Championships
Farr 40 Worlds: Prizegiving images from the Final day in San Francisco
Bill Green - builder and sailor passes on
ISAF World Sailing Rankings – 20 October 2014
Farr 40 Worlds: Images from the Final day in San Francisco *Feature
Farr 40 Worlds: Images from Day 2 in San Francisco *Feature
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - A hard day's night
34th Student Yachting World Cup 2014 - Second race day
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng loses lead, anyone's race ahead of Doldrums *Feature   
Flying Dreams 'An Ocean Story': The Movie   
New super maxis gear up for Rolex Sydney Hobart   
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 8 plus Videos *Feature   
Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One Design Challenge - Youngerman wins   
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Santander team victorious   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Waves continue to pound on day 2   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng consolidates lead on Day 8 *Feature   
RS:X Youth World Championships - All set for Clearwater action   
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Slow road north   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 – Dongfeng Race Team - A risky call   
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Escaping the shroud of Mount Etna   
Farr 40 Worlds: Day 4 Image and Video gallery *Feature   
Australian 18 Footers League’s Major A. Frizelle Trophy   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Leader gambles on Island windshadow   
2014 Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Final day video highlights   
2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Plenty of time   
Coast Guard rescues two near Wachapreague   
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 2   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Massive swell on day 1   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT