The 7th edition of the Monaco Solar and Energy Boat Challenge is going ahead, but with the entrants participating online rather than on the water.
The event has been held at the Yacht Club de Monaco since 2014, and YCM General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri explains: “Given the situation and to continue supporting the hard work already put in by teams, we felt we had to adapt. With all the uncertainty, we are not able to host a conventional event for the public. Last year, we had over a thousand visitors through the village and 350 participants. We had to find a solution to keep it going while keeping everyone safe and observing the health guidelines.”
The Monaco Solar and Energy Boat Challenge is organized by the YCM in conjunction with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and International Powerboating Federation and received the Federation’s Environmental Award in 2018. This year’s edition is supported by IQOS, Credit Suisse and BMW, all agreeing the virtual format is the way to maintain the momentum of developing alternative propulsion systems for the future of yachting.
The virtual competition is a way to provide at least some reward to the dedicated and hard working teams from universities, technical colleges and commercial ventures that had been planning and building boats for the races for as long as a year.
Just as in the 2019 competition there will be three classes – Solar Class, Energy Class and Open Sea – and participating teams had until May 31 to submit presentations of their projects to a Technical Jury of professionals, key players in the industry and partners. Each team then has an opportunity to defend their work in oral interviews being between 30th June and 4th July, followed by an online awards ceremony that evening.
All of the presentations can be viewed on the MESBC website. Presentations begin at 17:00 (5:00pm) Paris time.
There are a total of 17 teams competing (including the World Champions of Delft Technical Univeristy) from Colombia, Dubai, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and the UK. (See the full list at the bottom of the page)
Three awards: Innovation, Eco Conception, Spirit
Awards will be presented in three categories, which includes candidates from all three of the racing Classes. The winners of each category will receive a cheque for €2,000 (US$ 2,240).
The Innovation Prize (12 teams competing) will be awarded to the “most advanced improvements of visionary and relevant innovations”, the aim being to promote systems that can be adapted to meet the electric and green energy boat practical requirements from a production and pricing point of view. Candidates need to present a critical analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of their project, with conclusions based on tests carried out to prove the efficiency of the boat and its clean energy fuel source.
The Eco Conception Prize (9 teams) puts the spotlight not only on the efficiency of the materials and processes used, but also its contribution to science and the teams’ commitment to sharing good practices. Participation in a collaborative approach, preventive actions, the boat’s performance and reduced impact on the environment are key cornerstones of the project in this category. It also requires a written presentation and analysis to be submitted.
Finally, the Spirit Prize (10 teams) reflects the spirit of the competition by rewarding participants for originality in how they present their work, the team, their boat, how it evolved and the technical work achieved over the past few months.
Offshoots from Monaco Solar and Energy Boat Challenge
While this virtual competition is a one time solution (we all hope), it fits in well with much of the work Monaco has been doing over the past year to promote and develop new, greener boating solutions.
One of the offshoots launched in 2019 was a Job Forum. A team from the zero emission research vessel Energy Observer interviewed 15 students – going on to hire eight of them – and others joined Torqeedo and Azura Marine. The Forum is now a continuous resource hosted on the MSEBC site.
The YCM also introduced year-round webinars in 2019, free online technical discussions chaired by professionals and open to all. There have been five so far:
- Revolutionizing Outboard Engines and Maritime Propulsion, with Harold Guillemin – Founder of the FinX electric motors that mimic fish fins
- Redefining Sustainable Yachting, with Franziska Steidle-Sailer and Christine Funck of the Aquon One Catamaran
- The Evolution of Naval Architecture and Engineering with Simon Brealey of Lateral Naval Architecture
- Biocomposites manufacturing process and environmental impact with Erwan Grossmann of Kairos Biocomposites and
- Jérémie Lagarrigue of Energy Observer held a session answering technical questions for participants in the Energy Class
Another initiative set up by General Secretary d’Alessandri last September is a commission dedicated to alternative energy sources. The working group meets every two months and includes electric boat companies like Lanéva, Candela, and Vita, who launched their Vita Supercharger at the YCM last summer. The principality also hosts the EVER Monaco event showcasing the latest renewable energy technology with a focus on e-mobility.
Teams: Monaco Solar and Energy Boat Challenge 2020
|AGH Solar Boat||SOLAR||AGH University of Science and Technology||Poland||x||x||x|
|BME Solar Boat Team||SOLAR||Budapest University of Technology and Economics||Hungary||x|
|Futur - E||OPEN SEA||Centrostiledesign||Italy||x||x|
|Han Solar Boat||SOLAR||HAN University of Applied Science||Netherlands||x|
|HydroMetra||ENERGY||Universidad Nacional de Colombia||Colombia||x|
|Hydrone||ENERGY||Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember||Indonesia||x||x|
|Hydros Team UI||ENERGY||Universitas Indonesia||Indonesia||x||x|
|Hynova||OPEN SEA||Hynova Yachts||France||x|
|Sailing Tigers||ENERGY||Rochester Institute of Technology||Dubai||x||x|
|SBM E-Racing Team||ENERGY||SBM Offshore||Netherlands||x|
|SolarWave||ENERGY||University College London||UK||x||x|
|Sunflare Solar team||SOLAR||Stichting Sunflare Solar Team||Netherlands||x|
|Tecnico - Energy||ENERGY||Instituto Tecnico Superior||Portugal||x||x||x|
|Tecnico Solar||SOLAR||Instituto Tecnico Superior||Portugal||x||x|
|TU Delft||SOLAR||Delft University of Technology||Netherlands||x||x|
|UNIBO Argonauts Team||ENERGY||University of Bologna||Italy||x||x||x|
Main photo credit: YCM, Studio Bohlenghi