Blogpost #1 2022 - Southampton Sumoth TEAM

“Make no mistake, the future of our sport is in the hands of young people like this. For all the fancy words and hearty proclamations by many in our sport, it’s the people who are actually practically doing something that really matter and make a difference. The SuMoth Teams around the world – they stretch from the UK to Italy and Canada – are on the ragged edge of design and sustainability and it is an endlessly fascinating project to witness.” Magnus Wheatly, Rule 69 Blog

We are proud to introduce the University of Southampton SuMoth Team and be part of this fantastic challenge, which we hope will help to encourage the sailing industry to rethink current engineering techniques. The team is composed of Master’s students from three different Engineering backgrounds: Ship Science, Mechanical and Aeronautical. All have great interest in sailing but particularly in foiling, whether from a design studio perspective or on the water.

Hattie Rogers (21) is the Team Captain and sailor and is studying Ship Science. She enjoys combining her sailing experience with the theory of sailing and dynamics. She specialises in Yacht and Small Craft, which is perfect for the SuMoth Challenge. Alongside university, Hattie sails the WASZP and on the WAZSP International Racehub rankings she is the top female in the world. She was also crowned 2021 WASZP Female National Champion and female European Slalom Champion in the same year. She is really enjoying this project, particularly for the important sustainability challenges that this project poses coupled with the fact she is hoping to transition into this International Moth Class in due course.


Louis Huchet (22) is the Team Logistics Officer and studying Ship Science. He loves the course as all our case studies and labs are related to boats! He started sailing when he was 5 and has not stopped since. He is from France and decided to study in the UK when he was 17 to study Ship Science so he can become a naval architect. His ambition for the future is to be able to keep improving performances of sailing boats while reducing their environmental impact. This project is therefore a perfect way of proving that competition can be done in a sustainable fashion!


Finlay Middlemiss (21) is the Team Communication Officer and is studying Ship Science. He enjoys being able to apply his knowledge to real life examples in the maritime environment. He has been a keen sailor from the age of 7 and found maths and physics to be his strongest subjects at school. This led him to choosing to study this degree at the University of Southampton. He is very aware and interested in the impacts that ship building has on the environment and therefore this project is excellent as it allows for him to find more sustainable practices for boat building.


Pin Hong Wong (24) is the Team Treasurer and is studying Aeronautical Engineering. Despite his degree title, the knowledge, and skills he learned from his degree are applicable to other engineering fields. He has a huge interest in sustainability and was previously involved in sustainability projects such as carbon auditing in secondary school and modelling vehicle traffic pollution in Southampton. While sailing across Cardiff Bay last summer which was his first and only sailing experience, he is ready to take on the challenge to assess and improve the sustainability of a sailing boat.

Edward Gilbert (21) is the Communication Officer with Finlay and is studying Mechanical Engineering. He loves the opportunities to get involved with subjects that may conventionally be a part of a more specialized stream of engineering. He is a keen water sportsman in many disciplines. He has been sailing dinghies since the age of 6, windsurfing since the age of 12 and more recently in the last year has taken a keen interest in yacht racing and is also an avid kayaker. This project is allowing him to learn key naval engineering skills while playing to his sailing interests and he is excited to focus on sustainability issues in a competitive environment.

Sebastian Tamon Haścilowicz (23) is the Team Sustainability Officer and studies Ship Science. His interests include boat design, hydrodynamics, and numerical modelling. He has loved sailing since 12 years old and exploring new places. For third year, he studied structural reliability analysis and he appreciates simple, reliable, and robust design. He is also very keen on improving sustainability in the small craft industry.

Although the team have been divided up into individual roles, it’s important to note they are all involved in the design and manufacture of the hull and written associated technical reports for this challenge.


For the University of Southampton SuMoth Team, there are almost two projects within one. The first is for their final Master’s year of engineering where the project forms our Group Design Project which represents 3 out of the 8 modules. The second is the SuMoth Challenge, which follows, focussing on optimisation and analysis of the manufacture and performance, in preparation for the SuMoth Challenge which takes place in July on Lake Garda, Italy. The overall project enables us to apply our conceptual engineering and technical knowledge to engineering design problems. The main motivation is to represent the university at a student-only international competition, put our four-year degree into real life practice, to enjoy the project and to learn as much as possible. There are key industry problems which also drive us:

  1. Through using non-sustainable materials such as Carbon, non-bio-resin non-recyclable cores and one-off consumables, to name but a few, the marine industry is constantly increasing its carbon footprint.
  2. Through using cheaper and more sustainable materials, this will also offer a cheaper product which will offer greater accessibility within the high-performance sailing industry. 

“We believe that sustainability can go together with high-performance”

The SuMoth Challenge, and the University of Southampton SuMoth Team are convinced and inspired by the need for more sustainable and efficient sailboat designs, along with coherent manufacturing methods!

By combining our multidisciplinary knowledge based on Yacht, Aerospace and Mechanical engineering, we are aiming to prove that the use of sustainable materials is a solution to reduce the carbon footprint.

“We believe that design and innovation can improve accessibility”

By Design: The design process is where innovation and ideas are discovered, where weaknesses are improved and where materials are decided.

By Manufacturing: This is when environmental sustainability comes into play, as natural fibres, recycled cores, and bio-resins will be used. Several materials are being tested so that only the best materials are kept!

2nd hand parts are a viable solution that we look forward to using! This increases the use of recycled and upcycled materials.

By People: We believe that our team, the public and the SuMoth Challenge all together can make a substantial change in this area of the industry and change public opinions.

“If a team of 6 Engineering students supported by public opinion can make a small change, the sailing industry can make a big change!”

We are aiming to share this project as much as possible to introduce high-performance sailing to many people! Accessibility is one of our main concerns, and we believe that design and innovation can massively improve this!

We are currently in the manufacturing phase of the project, where all internal structure is fitted, and the deck is just about to be bonded on!

Having launched the crowdfunding at the end of January, we have raised £2,001 bringing us to a third of the way to our funding goal. Industry have been extremely supportive, and we cannot thank our current sponsors Jeremy Rogers Limited, Maguire Boats, Shock Sailing, Matrix Composite Materials and Sanders Sails enough for all of their support.

Milestones towards the SuMoth Challenge

  • Past milestones towards the foiling SuMoth Challenge:
    1. Design & Manufacturing plans have been set up: currently on time – perhaps a bit ahead on the manufacturing schedule – great news for the team.
    2. Several sponsors keen to help us: Jeremy Rogers Limited, Shock sailing, Maguire Boats, Matrix composite materials, Sanders sails.
    3. Moulds of hull, deck and foredeck received in October from Shock Sailing and stored in the shed before manufacture starts.
    4. Choice of materials: Flax, a selection of 100% recycled cores, bio resin.
    5. Materials testing in the university’s labs in November (tensile + flexure tests).
    6. Wing bars manufactured over Christmas, then some finishing still needs to be done such as rounding edges, tapering beams and varnishing.
    7. Prep of the mould first week of January 2022.
    8. Layup of the hull + vacuum bagged end of first week of January 2022.
    9. Infusion + de-moulding in week 2.
    10. Mould prep, layup, vacuum, and infusion of deck in end of week 2.
    11. Layup, vacuum, and infusion of transverse + longitudinal bulkheads in week 3, as well as wing bars supports 🡪 wing bars used as moulds.
    12. Cutting, trim and bonding of bulkheads in week 3.
    13. Trim and bonding of deck in week 4.
  • Next milestones towards the SuMoth Challenge:
    1. Varnishing the hull inside.
    2. Focus on flight control systems.
    3. Structurally test the hull and compare it to a carbon-made sister ship on land

(using the material structure testing facilities situated at the university).

    1. Recycled modified tramps.
    2. Because we are only a team of 6, we decided not to build our own foils to enable us to focus our efforts, knowledge and skills on the hull, internal structure, foredeck, gantry, wing bars, deck, and flight control system, so need to purchase second-hand foils.
    3. Build the gantry out of recycled tubes.
    4. Purchase sails, shrouds, ropes, pulleys, etc.
    5. Finish fitting the boat.
    6. Test it on water in Portland Harbour – aiming for May.

Objectives of the Team and outcomes:


    1. Have a boat weighing within 15kg of competitive International Moth (ready to sail, with everything fitted)
    2. Test the structure of the hull before early March
    3. Match results obtained with FEA, CLPT and LCP
    4. Have a boat costing less than 5,000 $SM
    5. Have a take-off speed at a TWS of 8 knots

Sail against a competitive International Moth in the same conditions to record and compare performances

To stay updated on the latest news from the competition and the teams, make sure to follow us on our social media channels!