Taniwha Will Race Again!

23 April 2015

We are preparing New Zealand’s racing submarine “Taniwha” for its next challenge: the 13th International Submarine Race to be held at Carderock Maryland (Near Washington D.C.) June 22-26. Taniwha, is a human-powered and fin driven submarine built by students and staff from the University of Auckland.  Our submarine made its first appearance on the World stage at the European Races last July, where we took the trophy for “Best Performing Non-Propeller Drive”. We are now getting it ready for the June race that will be held in the David Taylor Model Basin at Carderock, one of the largest ship model testing facilities in the World.

Amongst other things Taniwha has a new bullet-shaped nose and hydraulically controlled dive planes. We plan to make the sub fast so that we can attempt the World record for a non-propeller single pilot submarine. This is currently 4.642 knots (~ 2.4 m/s); a very fast speed for a mass of about 700 kgs! This is only our second international event so we won’t make any promises but we will try!


Taniwha will be on display at the Hutchwilco Boatshow May 14-17 ( next to Dive New Zealand. Come and meet us and we will show you the latest developments with the sub. To keep up with our progress please look at our website.

This article was reprinted with permission from Dive New Zealand Magazine, Issue 147, April May 2015.

Iain Anderson was both author and photographer.

Related links

Taniwha in motion



Team Taniwha NZ would like to thank our sponsors:

  • Air New Zealand
  • Auckland Bioengineering Institute*
  • Biomimetics Lab*
  • Centre for Advanced Composite Materials*
  • Department of Engineering Science*
  • Dive New Zealand
  • Jackson Electrical Ltd.
  • Pope Packaging
  • PPG Paints
  • Seaquel Wetsuits
  • Global Dive

* University of Auckland