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SailGP Inspire tasks Plymouth schoolchildren with designing the F50 of the future

22 JULY 2022News
by Miranda Blazeby, Digital Editor

Over 260 Plymouth schoolchildren have been tasked to design the F50 of the future through SailGP’s community, education and outreach initiative Inspire.

Inspire visited four local schools in the run up to the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix | Plymouth and challenged children aged 7 - 11 to improve the current F50. The task, which aimed to inspire designers and engineers of the future, asked the children to make the F50 faster, safer, more sustainable and British themed.

Children from St Andrew’s, St Peter’s, St George’s and Compton Primary schools divided into pairs to either draw the design or create it from recycled materials. They came up with plenty of innovative ideas, including flexible solar sails and ways of generating power from the water.

Season 3// Great Britain SailGP Team // Inspire // Plymouth boat design challenge

The children from each school were also awarded a piece of carbon fibre signed by the athletes of the Great Britain SailGP Team and were invited along to watch the event in Plymouth Sound when racing gets underway on July 30/31.

Joanna Arscott, deputy headteacher at Compton CofE Primary School, said it was ‘important’ to get the children ‘excited and involved in SailGP’ due to the school’s proximity and connection to the water.

Season 3// Great Britain SailGP Team // Inspire // Plymouth boat design challenge

“The opportunity to see 'inside the event', to understand how the boats are designed, built and set up, to learn about the importance of the safety of the athletes and to understand about the sustainability of the event has truly inspired our children,” she said. “The children haven't stopped talking about their designs and how they can improve on them, creating features and innovations that could quite possibly be the future designs of these boats.”

Arabella from Year 5 was inspired by the challenge. “I invented so many things - wetsuits with new safety features, emergency flipper boots - so many cool things. I didn't know it before - but now I want to be a designer.”

Speaking about the event, Inspire Program Coordinatior Laura Hedley said: "It's important that we at SailGP use our event to INSPIRE the next generation of designers and engineers, not just inspiring them to think creatively but to think about the consequences of design, ensuring that we use innovation to create the race-boat of the future"

SailGP Inspire partners with each of its host venues and partners to offer programs within the local community that leave a positive legacy for young people, students and aspiring sailors.

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