This summer the HPS Club @ FAU participated in the first invitational Hernando Beach Regatta. We took a road trip up north to visit with other racing teams from the southeast to test our vehicles. Teams that participated include, SUBLIME (Hernando Beach hosts), Polytechnic Institute, and Virginia Tech. We loaded our submarines and headed to the gulf to run in the warm clear waters. We took this time to test new steering systems and loading techniques while talking submarines with the other teams. When the testing was completed, we enjoyed lunch on the water prepared by Mrs. Barton while the fleet moored in the sandbar. Many different views on how each team prepares their submarines for each race were discussed, while offering constructive suggestions to current and future designs. After lunch the teams took to the starting block and raced head to head, just like ISR used to do in the early 90s at Rivera Beach. We were not focused on the results, but it sure was exciting to be racing again. Steve Barton of SUBLIME hosted this event and was gracious enough to open up his home and boats to ensure everything went smoothly. At the end of the day, Steve Barton would have countless stories about his adventures and inspired us to go on our own while we were in the area. He told us of a deep water cavern that was in the swamp that opened up to 120 feet deep. After the day of racing was complete we loaded our scuba gear and hiked through muddy swamp and Cyprus Knees to dive Buford Sinkhole. This cavern dive tested our pressure gauges and was a memorable dive to end the trip.
After the dive we packed up our gear and headed back down south. Many new friends were made at the regatta along with networking connections so that we can check in on the teams in the future as each team prepares for the upcoming race in Carder Rock in summer 2017. Again, the Human Powered Submarine Club @ FAU would like to thank Mr. & Mrs. Barton for letting us stay in their home and using their equipment. The regatta would not have been possible without them.