MONACO, July 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The 10th Monaco Energy Boat Challenge has officially started. Organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco, it has been establishing itself as a big meeting for alternative energy sources, honouring a long tradition. “Monaco has always been a mecca for yachting since 1904 when the Principality organised the first powerboat meetings”, as YCM General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri recalls. Supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Credit Suisse, BMW and SBM Offshore, the event has attracted the attention of important shipyards such as Oceanco, Ferretti Group, Monaco Marine, Sanlorenzo, Lürssen and Palumbo SY Refit.
“We’re here with 46 teams, plenty of students but also companies. This is the biggest innovation of this year. There’s a strong relation between yachting industry and universities. Because students from universities come with all the passion and the wish of creating new solutions but the industry is also presenting the need of yacht owners that want to have something which is affordable and reliable. Here its is possible to discover much innovation around hydrogen propulsion, battery storage and solar panels. All of these in different categories: energy class, solar class and open sea class”, explains the president of the international jury, Jeremie Laguarrigue.
For four days, 25 nations, 31 universities and some 50 teams in total, nearly 500 international students will be competing on the sea in a range of contests. A grand Parade, sea trials, speed records (for all three classes: Solar, Energy and Open Sea), a fleet race, a 16 nautical mile race around marks or following the Monaco-Ventimiglia-Monaco route, endurance, manoeuvrability and slalom contests – all highlights that make up the programme. “We named our boat the ‘Beau Soleil’ boat, which means beautiful sun and it took us 6 months for the design of the project and 3 months of actually building and manufacturing. We’ve been doing this since late january. It’s solar powered and it has got two motors and four hydrofoils”, said the Southern Solar team from Lafayette, Louisiana, Usa. “We’re very excited and happy to be here, as we get the opportunity to compete against these many teams coming from every part of the world”, added the Sea Shakti crew, coming from India with their boat Yali showing a hydrogen fuel cell, a lithium battery and also a own-made electric propulsion system. “As previous times we maintained the multihybrid propulsion with our battery plus our hydrogen tanks and solar panels. This year we implemented also the ‘Adas’ technology so with the help of our stereovision camera we can recognize objects in the sea and permit the autonomous drive system”, said the UniBoat team from Bologna, Italy.
The first ever YCM E-Boat Rally, launched by the Yacht Club de Monaco in collaboration with Aqua superpower, will lead the way for this 10th edition. The challenge being to attract a record number of electric boat builders to demonstrate the potential of one of the solutions for the future of pleasure boats on a rally from Monaco to Ventimiglia and back (21 nautical miles). “Monaco was the first to recognise the potential of electric propulsion technology and its ability to transform the yachting industry. Aqua is supporting the Yacht Club de Monaco in its efforts to advance this vision, working with all electric boat brands to create the infrastructure that makes electric boating instantly possible. This is further demonstrated during the Energy Challenge by Aqua’s installation of the world’s first E-Dock, which will provide dedicated charging for participants in the first ever E-Boat Rally taking place today between Monaco and Ventimiglia in Italy”, said Luisa Bonello, Co-founder of Aqua superPower.