8e Monaco Energy Boat Challenge – 6-10 July 2021

 

Monday 21st July 2021. Faced with environmental and technical challenges that need a response, Yacht Club de Monaco set itself a target in 2014 as part of its Monaco Capital of Yachting project to instigate a new vision and promote all positive approaches to bring yachting into line.

 

 

From 6-10 July, Yacht Club de Monaco morphed into an academic and entrepreneurial crossroads for discussions, a laboratory of experiments and an incubator of tomorrow’s renewable energy technologies for the 8th Monaco Energy Boat Challenge. A unique in the world event, it was organised in partnership with the International Powerboating Federation (UIM) and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, with support from Iqos, Credit Suisse, YPI (Yachting Partners International), BMW and SBM Offshore.

In total 32 teams (17 nationalities) all classes combined gathered under the attentive eye of HSH Prince Albert II, President of the Yacht Club de Monaco, and well-known figures such as the explorer Mike Horn and Jean Todt, President of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile). All week, Quai Louis II buzzed with activity, ashore and at sea, generated by a host of initiatives and innovations concocted by 22 universities worldwide, and some 15 companies and start-ups in town to showcase their latest sustainable propulsion systems. Round tables and a conference, Tech Talks and an exhibition ashore, and of course the all-important trials at sea as the teams competed in Monaco’s bay, all were the focal point of discussions on yachting, boating and shipping issues in the quest to find sustainable resource-efficient solutions that respect the environment.

 

 

Intense but friendly competition

The 32 teams in three classes and the 20+ exhibitors participating in the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge pushed their sporting and intellectual resources to the limit in a bid to win one of many prizes awarded the evening of Saturday 10th July, decided by a prestigious Jury of international experts and the event’s key partners whose involvement was constant.

Be it the speed record won by Candela in the Open Sea Class; the Innovation Prize awarded to exhibitor FinX for their biomimicry propulsion system designed like the fin of a fish, and Permare / Amer Yachts for their composite developed with Bologna University from a natural resin combined with Filava® basalt fibre; or the performances of the UniBoat (Italy) team, hands-down winner in the Energy Class, Sunflare Solar Team (Netherlands) queen of the Solar Class, or the Hynova team (France) overall winner in the Open Sea Class, all participants of this record-breaking edition left the Principality with stars in their eyes, including those who were not able to be physically present to participate. All have put a date in their diaries for next year which promises to be just as spectacular.

 

Tech Talks very popular

With 400 students, 32 teams, 22 universities, 17 nationalities and 15 company and start-up exhibitors, this Monaco Energy Boat Challenge boasted a particularly varied programme ashore, with participants in their different fields very happy with the level of discussion and willingness to share experiences, not always evident in the research world. Hungarians, Dutch, Italians, Portuguese and students from Dubai were able to observe and learn from their respective projects. This level of transparency was even more evident in the Tech Talks held on Zoom for the Indonesian, Indian and Chinese students, unable to make the trip due to Covid-related travel restrictions.

 

 

In the end, the students from Bologna University (UniBoat) won Best Tech Talk prize for “their project as a whole”, while the Portuguese Tecnico Solar Boat team walked away with the Communication Prize. Note: Rit Dubai Sailing Tigers were given a Jury Special Prize, which could have been dubbed the Public Prize such was the engaging way the United Arab Emirates team shared their enthusiasm and communication and technical skills with the Jury and all the other participants.

  • Complete list of Prizes linked with the Tech Talks and presentations click here

Energy Boat Challenge fertile ground for carbon-free future

Two conferences of back-to-back talks and discussions were held Thursday 8th and Friday 9th in the YCM’s Ballroom as part of the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge to work on energy transition, alternative solutions and sustainability initiatives in yachting, with a particular focus on hydrogen the Friday morning for the second Monaco Hydrogen Working Group Round Table. This follows a first meeting held in 2019 by the Monaco Energy Transition Mission, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Yacht Club de Monaco.

Around a hundred participants attended in person (in compliance with health restrictions) and as many online, with both these days clearly demonstrating that technology developments aimed at “decarbonising” the maritime sector, yachting included, have the wind in their sails. As well as grants and other funding via institutions (France’s recovery plan, grants, project finance, etc.), R&D and initiatives in the last few years, such as the work being done at universities and companies participating in the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge, are transforming in a practical, pragmatic way the understanding of potential resolutions to environmental issues and how resources are used, from an energy and materials point of view. Above all, private investment is growing, a sign that the economic paradigm linked to the energy and ecological transition is changing.

  • To access the article reviewing the talks at the conference on Thursday 8th July click here
  • For the article reviewing the Hydrogen Working Group on Friday 9th July, and watch it in REPLAY, click here.

 

 

Observers and industry players interested in Monaco Energy Boat Challenge

Jean Todt, President of the FIA – Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile

“We are in mobility. There is mobility on the road and mobility on the water. We have the same issues, with a zero emission, zero pollution vision, and I think it’s great we have common objectives between boats and cars. There are stand-out leaders, and I salute the leadership shown by Prince Albert II who puts these issues at the top of his agenda. When it comes to boats, Yacht Club de Monaco is renowned for its visions for the future with its General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri. It is not by chance that this show has been working on clean mobility on the water for the last eight years. There are bridges between motor racing and powerboat racing, but all this must done with respect for the environment. It is important to highlight the scourges which are endangering the planet”.


Mike Horn, Explorer

“We are in mobility. There is mobility on the road and mobility on the water. We have the same issues, with a zero emission, zero pollution vision, and I think it’s great we have common objectives between boats and cars. There are stand-out leaders, and I salute the leadership shown by Prince Albert II who puts these issues at the top of his agenda. When it comes to boats, Yacht Club de Monaco is renowned for its visions for the future with its General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri. It is not by chance that this show has been working on clean mobility on the water for the last eight years. There are bridges between motor racing and powerboat racing, but all this must done with respect for the environment. It is important to highlight the scourges which are endangering the planet”.

Alexandre Caizergues, world kiteboard record holder for speed, Jury member at the Monaco Energy boat Challenge

This is an alliance of sport, research and technology, of passion and youth at the service of developing viable solutions for greener maritime mobility in the future. These young students are bringing technical solutions to go fast with renewable energies like solar and others. The Monaco Energy Boat Challenge offers an event to validate solutions conceived in the lab. So much creativity and passion here on the quays of the Yacht Club de Monaco. I, too, am moved by their desire to share findings which drives all the teams. Every team wants to be the best but are humble in the face of the work of others.”

 

 


Bernard d’Alessandri, General Secretary Yacht Club de Monaco

“Given the current more or less post-pandemic context, this edition is like a breath of fresh air and hope. The enthusiasm shown by these young students, the presence of proactive manufacturers and companies, the profusion of creativity thrown at research into sustainable non-fossil fuel propulsion solutions is very encouraging for the future. Many innovations were not only presented but tested on the Monaco race area, and the round tables were of an extremely high level. All the passions were given free reign at this edition.”

 

For more information: www.energyboatchallenge.com

Press contacts: Yacht Club de Monaco
Tel: +377 93 10 64 09 – Email: presse@ycm.org