Section A: Safety
- Safety should take priority over winning.
- Competitors may not attempt to inhibit other competitors by intentionally colliding with or obstructing their boat or by interfering with radio and electronic equipment.
- All radio equipment must comply with appropriate International regulations.
- Each boat should be equipped with a navigation light which is turned one during the hours of darkness. It is up to competitors to decide on their lighting setup and is their responsibility to ensure that their boat meets any legal requirements for lighting in all countries which the boat might visit. Based on informal advice from the Irish and US coastguard we suggest that either a single white light or tri-colour red/white/green light should be used. This should be visible from all directions at a distance of at least 2 nautical miles.
- Boats must take appropriate precautions to avoid collisions. This might include the use of radar reflectors, brightly coloured panels, warning labels/flags or AIS transponders and avoiding known shipping lanes. Each team must decide the exact precautions they wish to take.
- The boat owner is liable for any damage caused to their boat or by their boat. The organisers take no responsibility for any damage caused.
- Boats must remain outside any defined exclusion zones.
- Competitors must arrange permission for the boats to operate in the waters of their chosen country of departure. Competitors are also responsible for arranging permission for their boat to enter the waters of their destination country and other countries along the way. Competitors are recommended to remain in international waters where possible.
Section B: Tracking of boats and transmission on data
- Each competitor will be required to provide their boat's position to the organisers via a web or email interface every 24 hours. Competitors are free to decide how this information is obtained and transmitted. A map showing each boat's position will be provided on this website. Any boat which fails to transmit for more than 10 consecutive days will be disqualified.
- In addition to transmitting position data, each boat should keep a record onboard of its position at least once every 24 hours. A copy of this must be presented to the jury upon completion. It is recommended that competitors should transmit data much more frequently than this, ideally at least once per hour.
- Competitors may transmit status information such as battery state from their boats.
- During the race competitors may not transmit any information to their boats, including new waypoints, weather information or software updates. Any competitor which does will be disqualified. However if a competitor wishes to implement such features for use in an emergency or after the race, then they may do so on the understanding that their use during the race will result in disqualification. The jury may request to examine satellite phone bills, log files or computer code if they suspect data has been sent to the boat.
- Each boat must carry the contact details (address, email and/or phone number) of its owner for anyone who might happen to find it. This could be be through writing them onto the boat itself or by writing on paper that is laminated or stored inside a water proof container. All competitors are advised to include in this a short explanation of what the purpose of the boat is and where it is supposed to be going, as this may help to avoid confusion and wasted time by anyone who might find it.
Section C: Criteria for entry
Every boat entered must fulfil the following criteria:
- No source of propulsion other than wind.
- The sailboat must be fully autonomous, no operator control is allowed.
- The sailboat must be energetically autonomous, carrying on board any required batteries and electricity generating equipment.
- The load water line length (LWL) of the boat must not exceed four metres.
Section D: The competition
- The aim of the competition is simple, to sail an autonomous sailing boat between Europe and the Caribbean or North America and Ireland in the fastest possible time. The start lines for these two routes are specified below in sections D.1 and D.2.
- The competition will start between January 1st and December 31st 2013. Competitors may launch at any time during this time.
- Competitors are responsible for transporting themselves and their boat to the starting line.
- An approach of at least 40 nautical miles to the start line must be sailed autonomously.
- Before departing, each team must choose a target area of 50km in diameter, centred along the finish line. A boat will only be considered to have finished the race when it reaches this 50km target, even if it has already crossed the finish line outside the target zone.
- A boat which runs aground must begin sailing again without any human intervention. If human intervention is required then the entry will be disqualified and must start the competition again. Human intervention includes physically moving the boat or remotely controlling it.
Section D.1: East to West competition route
Click here for a map showing the start and finish lines for this route.
- The start line is along the line of longitude at 7 degrees and 30 minutes West, between 48 and 51 degrees North.
- An approach of at least 40 nautical miles to the start line must be sailed autonomously. This is approximately along the line of 6 degrees and 30 minutes West.
- The finishing line is along the line of longitude at 60 degrees West, between 10 degrees North and 25 degrees North.
Section D.2: West to East competition route
Click here for a map showing the start and finish lines for this route.
- The start point is along the line of longitude at 51 degrees and 30 minutes West, between 42 and 48 degrees North.
- An approach of at least 40 nautical miles to the start line must be sailed autonomously. This is approximately along the line of 52 degrees and 10 minutes West.
- The finishing line is along the line of longitude at 11 degrees West, between 45 and 55 degrees North.
Section E: Judging Criteria
- How quickly the boat crosses the Atlantic between the designated start point and the team's target end point.
- A handicap will be calculated by the jury based on the boat's hull length using the following formula: Time Corrected = Time * square root(length in metres)/square root(4 metres)
- In the event of no boat reaching the finishing line, no winner will be declared.
- The result will be given by the jury within one week of the a boat crossing the finish line. During this time each competitor will submit a complete log of positions (minimum of 1 every 24 hours) along with any contest or comment to the jury and to all other teams.
Section F: Notifying the organisers of your attempt
- Before departing please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details:
- Organisation Name and location (town/city and country)
- A link to your website
- Boat Name(s)
- Measurements (length, beam and draft) in metres
- Weight in kilograms
- Details of your power source(s), actuators, computers and communications systems
- Details of your hull and rig design
- Any other interesting information about your boat
- A photograph of your boat
- A link to a video of your boat sailing autonomously
- Which route you intend to take (East to West or West to East)
- The latitude and longitude of your target point on the finish line
You may submit these details as a sign of your intention to compete, long before departure. This may help to improve publicity and show potential sponsors that you are registered.
- As soon as possible after you launch email the date, time and GPS co-ordinates of the position where you launched the boat to email@example.com