122 Days Until the 10th International Submarine Races

Well the time is really flying now. It’s down to only 122 days.  I’m sure some of the teams have completed their subs already and are in the final testing and optimizing stages, but some… well they are still trying to get their acts together, what will we build, how will we build, who will pedal etc. etc. and all having a great time at whatever stage of construction they are at. The veteran teams know exactly what they have to do and what to expect at the race. The newbies have surely reviewed whatever information that they could collect about what really goes on at the race but it doen’t begin to touch the actual experience. I think that the biggest part of the race is the comradere and how well everyone gets along. If you need help with something, a tool or a support diver all you have to do is ask. Yes, it is a competition and everyone wants to be the fastest but it is above all a learning experience for everyone from the youngest to those of us whose fins are older than most of the contestants.

The organizing group, the many volunteers, the U.S.  Navy for hosting the event and the Navy support divers all do a fantastic job.

Here is a copy of the press release that lists the teams and gives some information about the race.



For Immediate Release Media Contact: John Hussey, ISR:

843-278-1474 (home)

843-209-8140 (cell)




Record Number of Subs Expected in Human-Powered

Engineering Design Competition…

CARDEROCK, MD. Dec. 16, 2008 — The 20th Anniversary running of the International Submarine Races™, the world’s only engineering design competition for human-powered underwater vehicles, will be held June 22-26, 2009, at the U. S. Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Carderock test tank facility in Bethesda, MD.

This will be the 10th in a series of biennial races that test the creative skills of young engineering students from colleges, universities and technical and high schools from throughout the world. Teams wearing scuba gear compete in one- and two-person “wet” submarines designed to run submerged along a 100-meter measured course in Carderock’s model basin.

The 8.035 knot speed mark, set in 2007 by the OMER 5 submarine from the Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Montreal, Canada, will be difficult to beat, according to ISR Head Judge Claude Brancart. It is a speed most human-powered submarine enthusiasts previously deemed unachievable. Speeds have steadily improved over the 20-year history of the ISR.

ISR officials said 2009 will feature a record number of entries. By early December, 30 teams had indicated their plans to participate in the competition. Two more were expected. The teams are:

University of California San Diego

Sussex County NJ Technical School

University of British Columbia, Canada

Wheaton MD Submarine Works

University of Houston

Millersville University, PA

University of Florida

Virginia Tech

Scuba Sub Team, MD

University of Maryland

University of Michigan

Texas A&M

University of Maine

Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico

Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Quebec, Canada Hernando City Schools, FL

Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, Canada

Faux Fish Technologies, IL

University of Washington

Western Washington University

Everett WA Community College

Universidad Simon Bolivar, Venezuela

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, NY

Florida Atlantic University

(Note: some schools are fielding more than one team.)

Page 2

International Submarine Races

As part of the observance of the ISR’s 20th anniversary, plans include a display of previous winning OMER submarines, Bruce Plazyk’s exotic designs from past races, and a full-scale replica of the Revolutionary War submarine, the Turtle.

“The purpose of the sub races is to provide an educational opportunity for aspiring young engineers,” said Nancy Hussey, ISR Executive Director. “Their participation in the design, construction, and operation of a human-powered submarine offers real-time application of theoretical knowledge, hands-on creativity, problem solving and teamwork skill opportunities. The subrace engineering design competition is an investment in the future of our young people, not only to help them compete in the global technology economy, but to provide a better trained and experienced resource pool of bright and industrious students to help the defense industry and the government fill future national needs. The ISR experience increases their value to potential employers. Studies show that students who can put their classroom skills to practical use fare far better in the post-college job market.”

The Platinum 10th ISR sponsors are the USN Naval Sea Systems Command, NSWC, the Electric Boat Corporation and the Oceanic Engineering Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Many Gold and Silver sponsors contribute as well. This will be the seventh time that the ISR will be staged at the 3200-foot-long David Taylor Model Basin at NSWC. The submarine races began in Florida in 1989 in the open ocean and have grown to see the participation of teams from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe.

The 10th ISR Contestant Manual is available at the ISR website, www.isrsubrace.org. All contestant inquiries about the race should be addressed to Claude Brancart, ISR Contestant Liaison and Head Judge, at (207) 729-7873 or by email at c.brancart@ieee.org.

Organizations or individuals interested in sponsorship, including in-kind, may contact Nancy Hussey, ISR Executive Director, at seacure@earthlink.net, or by phone at (843) 278-1474 and cell (843) 830-5008, or Dave McGee, Assistant Race/Executive Director, at edavemcgee@cox.net or (703) 399-7617.

The ISR organization is all volunteer; those interested in becoming volunteers may contact Sue Peterson, Volunteer Coordinator, at speterson@chesapeake.net.


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