There are several airports nearby. For teams coming from the European continent, Southampton might be a good choice, but most teams that need to fly will find one of the London airports (Gatwick or Heathrow) to be the more cost-effective choice. Connections between the airports and Gosport are frequent and excellent, either by rail or by coach.
Gosport is a short ferry ride from the Portsmouth Harbour train station. From Heathrow Airport, take the RailAir coach to Woking, and change for the direct train to Portsmouth Harbour. From Gatwick Airport, it's even easier, as there are direct trains. Details at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Long distance bus travel in the UK is operated primarily by National Express. Buses are clean, comfortable, and generally run to schedule. Buses run directly from both Heathrow (3 hrs) and Gatwick (2 hrs) to Portsmouth, where you can catch a quick ferry ride across to Gosport. There is no bus station in Gosport. Information is available from www.nationalexpress.co.uk.
By local Ferry
Downtown Gosport is reached by ferry from Portsmouth Harbour. It runs like a city bus. Buy your tickets as you get on. It's a short bus or cab ride from the ferry terminal to Haslar, or a 20 minute walk.
All of the major car rental agencies have offices at both airports. Gatwick is better set up for it, with the offices in the South Terminal, but it just involves a minibus ride to the various depots at Heathrow. Note: in the UK, most rental car companies will not rent to under 25s. The exception among the major companies is Thrifty. Even there, drivers aged between 21 and 25 will incur a hefty surcharge. Once you have your car, remember to drive on the left, then follow the signs to the motorway, then to the M25, and then to the M3 heading for "The Southwest". The M3 ends at the M27. Take the M27 east towards Portsmouth. Get off the highway at the Fareham exit, and follow the signs for downtown Gosport and the Submarine Museum. Stay on the main road past the submarine museum, and QinetiQ will be on the right.
There is plenty of parking at the QinetiQ site, but all vehicles will have to be registered and display a pass. Vehicles will not be allowed to stay on site overnight. Detailed instructions will be posted here in due course.
The main accommodation for the races will be the Kingfisher Caravan Park, about two miles from the race site. The park offers a range of static caravans for hire for the week, and for those whose budgets won't stretch that far, there is a tent campground on site as well. The caravans sleep five people each, and have their own kitchen facilities. There is a large pub/restaurant at the centre of the park, as well as a small shop. There is plenty of parking, and space to work on submarines in the evenings until 9pm. The Race Organisers have booked one caravan per team in advance. Bookings will be transferred over to the teams once they have qualified to race. Teams will then be responsible for the booking costs and for returning the caravans in proper condition at the end of the races.
Typical restaurant prices range from £8 to £15 for dinner, and £5 to £10 for breakfast. There is a little grocery store on the Kingfisher Caravan Park, and bigger ones in downtown Gosport, a £5 GBP taxi ride away.
Paying for it all
The race organisers realise that the travel budget will be significant for some teams, particularly those coming from outside Europe. Efforts have been made wherever possible to keep the costs to a minimum, but individual teams will need to raise funds through sponsorship. Large engineering companies, local businesses in their hometowns, the various professional engineering societies (e.g. ASME, IEEE, etc.), or even local service clubs (e.g. Rotary, Lions, etc.) are good places to start. Many teams engage in fund-raising activities of their own – expect plenty of submarine-themed barbecues and carwashes over the coming months!
Meantime, here are some price comparison websites to help with budget planning.
Citizens of some countries may need visas to enter the United Kingdom. There is a specific type of visa available for sports visitors. See www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/visiting/sports/ for more information. Please leave plenty of time to get your application processed. You will need a letter of invitation from the Race Committee - there will be a link on the intranet in due course for you to request one..