Submarine battle in Gosport

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STUDENTS from across the globe put on diving gear and jumped into submarines in a race against time.

The engineering students from universities around the world were putting their human-powered submarines through their paces.

The team from New Zealand with their sub called Taniwha.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142062-2)

The team from New Zealand with their sub called Taniwha.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142062-2)

Defence firm QinetiQ is playing host all week at its huge ocean basin at its base in Haslar Road, Gosport.

Ryan Chao, 21, from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, took a dip while inside his team’s submarine, called Taniwha.

He had to squeeze to fit into the tiny boat for the heats yesterday.

Ryan said: ‘It’s been a really long process figuring it out as we went along.

‘Piloting it is quite challenging. We’ve got the hang of it now.

‘It’s amazing, as a student we often learn about a lot of things – but to see a project through and come to life half way across the world is great.’

Ryan and his team are hoping their 50kg submarine will succeed.

Iain Anderson is an associate professor working with the students.

He added: ‘We’ve had some teething problems but we’ve sorted them out.’

The teams were yesterday testing out the submarines ahead of the final day of racing at the European International Submarine Races event.

They had to take on the ocean basin course, with a long straight before proving their agility with a slalom.

Roger Forster, from Alverstoke, is an electronics lecturer at Southampton Solent university.

He was a volunteer at the races and took the chance to marvel at the technological innovations.

He said: ‘It’s a fantastic opportunity for students to put into practice what they’ve learned and try to apply common sense to overcome problems.’

And for QinetiQ, it was a chance to show off their facility but also see for themselves the next generation of people in the industry.

Managing director Sarah Kenny said: ‘I’m absolutely sure new ideas will come from this event.’

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