Atlantic Mini-boat Regatta

 Atlantic Mini-boat Regatta: ‘Around the Atlantic – Our Shared Resource’

The Explorers Education Programme supported the Atlantic Mini-boat Regatta: 'Around the Atlantic – Our Shared Resource' which was a transatlantic funded programme by AORA-CSA who had formed a partnership in 2016 with a href="" target="_blank">Educational Passages mini-sailboats in the USA.

Educational Passages is a USA led project that spreads ocean and environmental literacy using GPS-equipped mini-sail boats that follow ocean currents and winds, allowing students of all ages to explore oceanic phenomena while we develop transoceanic classrooms.


The miniature unmanned 1½ metre Lancer boat that was found washed ashore in Galway in September 2016 after a four month trans-Atlantic crossing off the coast of Cape Cod in the USA.

The first adventures of the Lancer boat had started when it had been launched from the USA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research vessel Neil Armstrong as part of the secondary school project led by student Kaitlyn Dow, Waterford CT Highschool from Connecticut, USA.

The Lancer boat was fitted with a GPS tracker to monitor how it might get caught in the Atlantic's ocean currents and ended up sailing into Droim, Leitir Móir, Galway where it was found by primary school student Méabh Ní Ghionnáin.

Check out the GPS tracker to see where the Lancer boat travelled across the Atlantic Ocean: LANCER GPS. The blue line represents the movement of the miniboat across the Atlantic Ocean from the USA to Ireland.

Lancer Track Image

Méabh and her family took on the next leg in the Lancer boats adventures where they helped raise awareness about the marine and citizen engagement with the oceans at her school, the sea scouts, as well as talking about her discovery with the media. As part of an Atlantic Mini-boat Regatta: 'Around the Atlantic – Our Shared Resource', the boat also provided a unique opportunity where a trans-Atlantic friendship was formed when Méabh and Kaitlyn got to meet at the Marine Institute in Galway earlier this year.

Lance the Miniboat 1
Kaitlyn tracked the boat as part of her school project. She also collaborated with Chloe Rubin producing an illustrated book called Lance. The book tells the adventures of Lance the miniboat while at sea and its rescue by a little girl called Méabh. The book was presented to the Marine Institute and Méabh during Kaitlyn’s visit to Ireland.
Lance the Miniboat 1

Repaired by Ciaran Oliver and James Rattigan from Port of Galway Sea Scouts and flying a new Galway sail, the Lancer boat was launched from the RV Celtic Explorer during its expedition across the Atlantic.

The miniboat was relaunched from the Marine Institute's research vessel RV Celtic Explorer on the 22nd April 2017, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.


Méabh Ní Ghionnáin met with Kaitlyn Dow from Connecticut, USA at the Marine Institute during Kaitlyn's visit to Ireland, to see where the boat had landed. 1.5 metre unmanned Lancer sailing boat washed up on her local beach.

The Lancer was re-launched at position 52˚16.1'N, 033˚11.4'W at 1015 UTC from the Marine Institute's research vessel RV Celtic Explorer on the 22nd April 2017.

Méabh Ní Ghionnáin and Kaitlyn Dow meet at the Marine Institute:

The Lancer ins was re-launched from the RV Celtic Explorer: