Monaco Solar Boat Race results 2018

The Monaco Solar Boat Challenge is the only open water solar boat race in the world (stay tuned about a Canadian solar race event being planned with the EBAC) and held its fifth competition from July 12-14 at the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM).

This year 29 teams competed, from Poland, Belgium, Indonesia, Portugal, Monaco, France, Italy, England, Hungary and the Netherlands. Most of the teams are from university engineering programs, but commercial entries are also allowed. For the first time the Challenge was expanded to include a variety of electric boats powered by clean energy sources other than solar.

There are races in three classes. The Speed, Slalom and Endurance events for solar boats take place in Monaco’s Port Hercule Harbour and there is an offshore race from Monaco to Vintimiglia, Italy and back, a distance of 16 nautical miles.

Boats compete in three classes: Solar, Offshore, and Energy Class. In the Energy class for the offshore race all contestants were given a one-design identical catamaran hull by the YCM and had to build a cockpit and design the most powerful and durable propulsion system from a given amount of energy.  Bio Fuel, battery, hydrogen, compressed air, or anything else, the choice was wide as long it was a clean source.

The Solar speed record was retained by the Clafis Victron Energy Solar Boat Team with Gerhard van der Schaar piloting and duplicating his own world record of 26 knots (49 km/h/30 mph) recorded over a distance of one eighth of a nautical mile (231.5m).

In the solar Endurance category the University of Antwerp completed 24 laps (of one km each) in one hour. And in the offshore race Vita Yachts was victorious with the only time under one hour – 54:41.

In addition to the races, the Monaco Solar Challenge holds TechTalks from the competitors in which they discuss their projects and future plans. Of particular note this year was the presentation from Solarboot Team Emden outlining their program for a solar-powered boat that will be used on Lake Buyonyi in Uganda to take children to and from school.

The Monaco Solar Challenge is presented by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Hydros Foundation and International Powerboating Federation (UIM). This year’s patron was Bertrand Piccard, pilot of the Solar Impulse 2 solar airplane which circumnavigated the globe in 2016. See his video message below.

For more complete information on the race, click on the links below the video.

VIDEOS:  Yacht Club de Monaco YouTube Channel   

TECHTALKS: Videos and pdfs of Team Presentations 

Monaco Solar Challenge 5th Edition kicks off

Solar and Energy Challenge a big success for 2018

Clean energy set to propel yachting’s future

Jaguar-Vector smashes decade-old electric boat speed record

Back in 2008 an upstart company called Tesla was just introducing an electric car it called The Roadster.

Electric cars were a novelty at the time, and electric powered boats even more so. But out on the water that year, a maritime speed record of 76.8 MPH (122 kmh) was being set. And it wasn’t until last week, a full decade later, that the record was broken when Jaguar took some of the learning from their Formula E car racing experiences and teamed up with boat manufacturer Vector to create a boat that hit 88.6 MPH (142 kmh) over a 1 mile stretch on the tranquil waters of England’s Coniston Water lake.

Vector has been involved in powerboat racing since 2012, and is the most watched powerboat racing team in the world, with 600K social media followers.

Jaguar, of course, is Jaguar, and only got back into auto racing in 2016 when it became the first premium manufacturer to join the Formula E series. Its Panasonic Jaguar team with drivers Nelson Piquet Jr. and Mitch Evans sits in 5th place coming in to the last race of the season in New York on July 14 and 15.

The SeaBubble electric boatThe Jaguar V20E boat that set the record was piloted by Jaguar/Vector co-founder Peter Dredge and everyone is pretty tight lipped about the specifics of the motor, battery and controller, which was developed in concert with Williams Advanced Engineering. Check out the video below for as many details as can be gleaned.

In a press release last October the team made it clear that they would be pushing the boundaries of marine speed records, so we probably have not seen the last of this.

As for electric boats in general, there has not been a lot of companies jumping into the water, but the German company Torqueedo has a range of e-motors and announced they have teamed up with BMW on an entry in sailing’s Vendée Globe solo, around-the-world race in 2020. The SeaBubble battery powered hydroplane  (photo above) was launched on the Seine river in Paris in early June.

Jaguar’s all electric I-Pace car made its own debut at the Berlin Formula E race this year and the company has announced that it will be getting out of fossil fuel burning cars by 2020.