Toon students face off in RGU land yachts race

Pictured (left to right) are Michael Thain, Ryan Jamieson and Dean Thomson.
Pictured (left to right) are Michael Thain, Ryan Jamieson and Dean Thomson.

Three former Peterhead Academy pupils lined up against each other as part of Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) annual ‘land yachts’ race recently.

School pals Michael Thain (20), Dean Thomson (20) and Ryan Jamieson (21), are all now in their third year of studying engineering at RGU and competed against each other with their teams as part of the race at Balmedie Beach.

This year’s event saw over 140 students split into 22 competing teams and given the task of designing, constructing and assembling their yachts as part of a student project aimed at encouraging mathematical, analytical and team working skills.

The land yachts are comprised of a two-metre go-kart style body with brakes, steering and a sail, and were conceived and built entirely by the students, with Michael heading up third place finishers Nuts & Bolts, Dean co-ordinating Cool Runnings and Ryan as deputy co-ordinator for iYacht.

Each land yacht completed a 150m lap time trial across the beach weaving through obstacles to test their manoeuvrability, brakes, steering and the pilot’s handling skills.

On the day, it was Beach Bullets who took top spot, followed by Team Unicorn and Nuts & Bolts in second and third place respectively.

Michael said: “I’m really pleased with how things went today – I had my doubts that the yacht would work, as I’m sure every team did. We knew we were one of the fastest teams so it was pretty exciting waiting to hear the results.

“It is definitely quite a competitive day, but we’re all friends on the course so the banter in the lead up to the race is all in good fun.”

Dean added: “The land yacht project has been my favourite module so far however it has also been the most challenging. It is a great way to use the theory learned throughout the years in a more practical aspect allowing us to develop key skills that are required in the workplace.”