Gran Canaria Invitational 2024

Open-ocean, head-to-head human-powered submarine racing Arinaga, Gran Canaria, Spain, 16 - 22 September 2024 Hosted by Rhine Waal University and Submarine Racing Series

Welcome to the Gran Canaria Invitational, where teams of university students and amateur engineers are challenged to design, build and race human-powered submarines in a head-to-head format around a rectangular course in open waters. The concept combines engineering design challenge with technical skill development and sets them in a unique and exciting sporting competition.

Rivershark sub

The Race

The Race Human-powered submarine racing has a long history that began in the 1990s. The GCI is both a new extension and a return to the roots for this unique sport. Teams of student and amateur engineers and athletes will pedal their muscle-powered one-person submarines, propelled either by propellers or fins, around a 400m rectangular course in a head-to-head format. Teams will run in two boat heats during the week, building up points with each successive win. The overall winner will be the team with the best combination of engineering and athletic prowess, as adjucated by a panel of expert judges.More Information

Rivershark sub

The Rules

The GCI rules are being developed to ensure a fair competition while still retaining the flexibility to enable participants to push the limits of their underwater technology and athletic prowess. The rules will retain as much compatibility as possible with those of other submarine racing events around the world, to facilitate teams' participation in multiple competitions. Where significant differences arise, these will mostly be due to the additional constraints imposed by the more complex open-water environment.Draft Rule Book PDF

Playa de Arinaga

The Venue

The GCI is again being hosted by the quiet fishing village of Playa de Arinaga, on the east coast of Isla Gran Canaria, Spain. The racecourse will be set out in 7m of water 100m off Arinaga's historic Muelle (pier). The event is being carefully planned together with local authorities to minimise local disruption and maximise the benefits for businesses, locals, and visitors. From Opening to Awards Ceremony, the race promises to be an exciting week for all.More Information

Proof of Concept

SubRacing Series is a sport for the 21st century. It will push the boundaries of technological innovation and tests participants' performance in the face of extreme adversity. Only those with a true pioneering spirit, ingenuity and the strongest fortitude will be victorious.

Working inside Rivershark sub
Concept image of sub racer


Racing in the underwater environment presents a challenge that must be addressed carefully. Submarines must be outfitted with mandated safety systems and the race itself has been designed with safe operations in mind.More Information

Concept image of sub racer


The logistics of delivering a racing submarine and its team to an isolated Spanish island off the west coast of Africa are not to be underestimated. Contesting teams and the GCI organisers will work together to get the job done.

Coming Soon

Concept image of sub racer


The GCI is the first event in a new and developing international league of submarine racing whose overall objective is to highlight and actively address the challenges currently facing the ocean around the world. Climate change, ocean acidification, ocean current fluctuations, biodiversity loss, fishing impacts - our athletes, engineers and fans will literally be submerged in the marine environment, looking for human-powered solutions to more than just underwater speed.

Coming Soon