THE engineering skill of students was put on show when they took part in a powerboat competition.
Youngsters from Gosport, Fareham and Horndean built their own boats from scratch to race in the QinetiQ Powerboat Challenge.
Pupils from Brune Park School in Gosport, and Horndean College were joined by Warsash Sea Cadets and eight other teams from across Hampshire.
They had to design and build the boats, which were then tested in QinetiQ’s ocean basin in a series of heats.
Horndean College was taking part for the first time.
Its team of engineering students was made up of girls and member Sophie McCulloch, 13, said she liked having the opportunity to compete in the challenge.
‘It’s good we have this chance,’ she said. ‘There are a lot of boys in our engineering class and it proves we’re just as good as them.
‘The whole project has been great, from deciding on the design to making the boat.’
Alfie Ford, from Warsash Sea Cadets, was taking part in his second year.
The 15-year-old said: ‘It was difficult at the start because we all had a lot of ideas. We needed to decide the shape of the boat and what it would be made of.
The whole project has been great from deciding on the design to making the boat.Sophie McCulloch
‘We went for carbon fibre and it worked well. Minor adjustments were made as the races went on.’
QinetiQ, in Gosport, has been holding the event with schools for five years.
Sarah Kenny, managing director for maritime, land and weapons, said: ‘This is probably the best year we have had. The teamwork has really paid off with the calibre of the boats being the best we’ve seen.’
Carisbrooke College took first and second places with boats Jigglypuff and Trixie, and Chamberlayne College was third with Bobby.