We’d had 15 teams register for this year’s Microtransat. But in the last month or so all of them but us have have pulled out. To be fair the arrangements have been a bit last minute and we’d only definitely decided on the start location (Ballydavid, County Kerry, Ireland) a few months ago. A lot of teams also just don’t seem to be ready to wave goodbye to their boat with little hope of seeing it again.
It had looked like the Swiss Team (http://www.ssa.ethz.ch/) were going to compete but they’ve had some major engineering problems with their boat that they couldn’t fix in time.
On the plus side we did manage to have the a second World Robotic Sailing Championships (http://paginas.fe.up.pt/~jca/wrsc/) and International Robotic Sailing Conference in Portugal last month. This was the biggest sailing robot event with 7 teams in attendance. Hopefully it will be happening next year in Canada and combining with the Sailbot Competition (http://www.usna.edu/Users/naome/phmiller/SailBot/SailBot.htm).
Hopefully we’ll be able to reuse all of this year’s organisation in Ireland to do the competition next year and give everyone a bit more notice of what’s going on.