A CATAMARAN designed in Launceston caught fire, lost a rudder and crashed a few times, but still managed to come second in an international race.
A group of Australian Maritime College naval architecture students designed the 2-metre, radio-controlled model catamaran for the inaugural HYDROcontest in Switzerland.
The aim for the 13 international contestants was to design the fastest boat that consumed the least amount of energy while racing on Lake Geneva, in Lausanne.
The AMC group won the best technology award for the lightweight boat division and was second in the two-hour endurance race with its $33,000 hydrofoil model catamaran.
Group member Reuben Kent said there was some aggression on the water and many crashes, especially in the endurance event.
‘‘It was a dramatic day lakeside,’’ Mr Kent said.
‘‘We were delayed by 10 minutes because of a flat battery at the start but caught up then took the lead.
‘‘Then we caught fire, so that was a stall but we were still leading just not by the same margin, and then we crashed again.
‘‘We collided with another boat as we were leading, lost our rudder, and they pretty much lapped past us in the last few minutes of the two-hour race.’’
Their boat also had the fastest lightweight division time of 2.36 minutes over a 600-metre square course, equalling 14km/h at a speed of 19.7km/h.
The aim of HYDROcontest is to test for boat technologies of the future.