Stonehaven engineering student races ‘land yachts’

GLEN MOIR (right) and 'Team Affinity' raced their land yacht across Aberdeen beach.

GLEN MOIR (right) and 'Team Affinity' raced their land yacht across Aberdeen beach.

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A budding engineer from Stonehaven joined over 80 of his fellow students racing ‘land yachts’ across a stretch of Aberdeen’s coastline on Monday April 15, with his team’s design coming third in the contest.

Glen Moir (20), a third-year Mechanical Engineering student at Robert Gordon University’s School of Engineering, has been hard at work over the past three months designing, constructing and assembling his yacht 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 and steering with a 4.5m high sail, and have been conceived and built entirely by the students, split into eight competing teams.

Glen, a former pupil at Mackie Academy and co-ordinator of ‘Team Affinity’, chose a unique design amongst their competitors as they used a wing instead of a sail in their design.

“The project has given us the freedom to explore various designs, ideas and materials and after initial research and calculations, we managed to prove theoretically that a wing should work better.

“We’ve had to make various adjustments and work to deadlines along the way to ensure our design fits the changing brief, including creating angle brackets from aluminium instead of gluing the metal tube ‘ribs’ to the mast. This reflects the challenges we would face on a daily basis in our future careers as engineers.

“As we have used a wing, everyone – including our lecturers – was interested to see how our craft performs against the other landyachts with soft sails, so I was delighted when we came third!”