Solent University students battled rough weather and stiff competition during an intense model yacht race last week at Gosport Boating Lake.

Solent's BEng (Hons) Yacht Design and Production and BEng (Hons) Yacht and Powercraft Design students pitted their hand-crafted yachts against each other on May 16 to determine this year's winner.

Despite challenging weather conditions, 17 dedicated students set sail. It was the Yacht Design and Production students who tasted victory. Jack Francis won the upwind race, and Sonny Day Bridger took home the first prize in the downwind race.

Yacht and Powercraft Design student Finlay Coyle, whose model sailed beautifully throughout the races, won the Concours' D' Elegance.

This exciting event showcases the diverse talent cultivated at Solent University, renowned globally for its top-notch marine industry training.

The first-year students not only have a chance to demonstrate their boat-making skills but also receive real-time feedback from some of the industry's best lecturers.

Lecturers scrutinize the boats' quality and durability in this practical test that caps off a 100-hour design and build project.

As such, it is reflected in their first-year evaluations, blending fun with academic exploration.

Solent University graduates have an impressive track record, with many working on designs for multiple Americas Cup campaigns and Open 60 race yachts.

Offering a range of yacht design courses, the university recently added the UK's first Sustainable Marine Craft and Superyacht Design MSc to its solid curriculum.

Giles Barkley, Course Leader Yacht Engineering, said: "This tradition is a great opportunity to witness the impressive skills our students have – and at such an early stage in their university journey. Model yachts are not easy to get right, but this year’s cohort did a fantastic job producing well-designed models that performed well on the water.

"At Solent, we are proud that many of our previous winners are now thriving in the world of professional yacht design, and it is challenges like this that help to develop student skills, readying them for the competitive industry that awaits them."