The fourth Monaco Solar & Electric Boat Challenge, organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco in partnership with UIM – the International Powerboating Federation – more than met the expectations of the 21 teams from seven competing countries that took part over three days on the weekend.
YCM General Secretary, Bernard d’Alessandri, said: “We are delighted to see more and more young people coming to this meeting. They bring new ideas and their enthusiasm for their projects is infectious.”
Marco Casiraghi, the man behind the project, said that the main purpose is to use the competition to promote eco-responsible propulsion to the largest number of people involved in marine motor-sport.
“This event is a way to raise public awareness. Sustainable energy sources exist today and it is up to us to demonstrate their application,” he stated.
Competitors from the Netherlands are particularly adept at solar racing. Gerhard van der Schaar’s boat “Clafis Victron Energy Solar Boat Team” won in the Open Class and Johannes van der Steen’s “Solarboatteam in Challenge A”, won the Fleet Endurance Race. Each one won the speed contest, slalom and one-on-one duels in their respective categories.
Looking to the future, the biggest challenge will be to reduce the bulk and weight of solar power sources on board the vessels. The exponents of solar power boating believe that competitions such as the Monaco Challenge will do much to promote innovation and enable more widespread use of solar energy in a wide range of applications.