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.
Changes to the rules for 2015
- A new class for non-wind powered boats including motor boats and hybrid sail/motor boats. These are restricted to a length of two metres.
- A new division for boats which want to update their waypoints remotely.
- A future restriction of a maximum length of 2.4 metres will start in 2017. This is intended to improve safety, but the delayed response is to allow those who've already built longer boats a chance to compete.
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.