IT WAS a day at the races for pupils at two schools as they trialled model powerboats they built.
The youngsters from Henry Cort Community College, in Fareham and Crofton School, in Stubbington, raced the boats at Qinetiq’s ocean basin, off Haslar Road, Gosport.
Pupils had spent months designing and building the boats to compete with nine other schools in Hampshire.
The last heat of the day was won by Crofton’s second team’s boat Quackers, which had failed to start and then lost its top.
Skipper Millie Payne, 13 a Year 8 pupil said: ‘We worked out it had come unscrewed on the propeller.
‘I almost crashed a couple of times and on quite a few corners, and we did catch up but that was on the last lap.
‘I took a corner that went round everyone and did the corner quite wide and then we overtook two boats.’
Millie and her teammates came fourth in the finals, narrowly missing out on a podium place.
The second team from Crofton who came fifth, with their boat Boatgatti, wining a teamwork prize from the Royal Institute of Naval Architects.
And they were followed by Henry Cort’s entry, Henri 4, which came sixth out of 15 boats.
It got the Dastardly Behaviour Award for the most shunting and bumping during the day’s racing.
Chris Fisher, a naval architect at the defence firm, organised the Powerboat Challenge for the third year in a row.
He said: ‘There’s a lot of excitement, a lot of frantic efforts to keep the boats afloat and running throughout.
‘It’s a good opportunity to get them into science, technology, engineering and maths, the Stem subjects, in a practical way.
‘It’s a real problem to design a boat from a blank sheet of paper, build it and race it.’