About the Microtransat
The Microtransat Challenge is a transatlantic race of fully autonomous sailing boats. The race aims to stimulate the development of autonomous sailing boats through friendly competition.
So far this year only one team has attempted the challenge: the team from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, USA. They began their attempt on May 16th 2014 from Cape Cod in Massachusetts. On May 22nd their boat was run over by and caught in the nets of a trawler. The crew brought her onboard and she has only sustained minor damage and will be returned to the team. You can see a map of the path they took on the live tracking page or read more about their boat on the boat details page.
A spin off competition, the World Robotic Sailing Championships (WRSC) was created in 2008 and has taken place annually since then. This consists of a series of short races and other challenges for competing boats to undertake autonomously. Many teams who take part in the Microtransat (or who plan to) also attend the WRSC. Also attached to this event is the International Robotic Sailing Conference (IRSC), which allows researchers in the area a chance to meet up and discuss the scientific issues related to robotic sailing.
The SailBot competition is another competition for robotic sailing boats, which has taken place in North America since 2006. This is targeted at student teams and focuses on high performance short distance racing.
Microtransat teams are encouraged to attend a WRSC or SailBot event to meet other teams, exchange ideas and test out their boats and compare against others.