Monaco Energy Boat Challenge

The 10th Monaco Energy Boat Challenge kicked off Wednesday 5th July with a visit by HSH Prince Albert II. The President of the Yacht Club de Monaco, accompanied by YCM Vice-Presidents Andrea and Pierre Casiraghi alongside General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri stopped to examine the boats designed by young engineers before they test them out on the sea in the different events. “We have 46 teams from prestigious universities, but also companies. This year, we have noticed how involved the yachting industry is and that there’s a close relationship between the two worlds. The students are passionate about what they’re doing and keen to come up with new solutions as the sector is to meet owners needs for something affordable and reliable. Here you will find a whole range of innovations particularly relating to hydrogen propulsion, battery storage and solar panels across the three categories: Energy Class, Solar Class and Open Sea Class,” said Chairman of the international jury, Jérémie Lagarrigue, Director EODev.


And they were off! 

Day one was extra special this year with the first ever YCM E-Boat Rally. Organised in partnership with Aqua superPower, world leading rapid-charge maritime network, the rally from Monaco to Ventimiglia and back (21 nautical miles) aimed to attract a record number of electric boat builders. “Monaco was the first to recognise the potential of electric propulsion and capacity to transform the yachting industry. Aqua supports Yacht Club de Monaco in its efforts to progress this vision by working with all electric boat brands to create the infrastructure that will make electric boat navigation immediately possible,” explained Luisa Bonello, co-founder of Aqua superPower. All commercial boats can moor up at the first E-Dock, an eco-designed pontoon with AC (Alternative Current) and DC (Direct Current) chargers that can supply rapid reliable power to 20 boats at the same time.


Ideas from all over the world

All the teams representing 21 nations and 31 universities were introduced at the Opening Ceremony. “We are thrilled and happy to be here as this is an opportunity to see how we measure up against all these teams from all over the world,” said the Sea Shakti members. For this team from India it’s the second time in a row that they are competing in the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge with their Yali boat equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell, lithium battery and an electric propulsion system built by the team.


“As on previous occasions, we have kept multi-hybrid propulsion with our battery, hydrogen reserves and solar panels. This year, we also have the Adas technology up and running, which enables us to recognise objects in the sea and activate an autonomous propulsion system, thanks to our stereoscopic camera,” said the UniBoat Team from Bologna, Italy.


For the first time since the event launched, USA are represented by the Southern Solar team of Americans: “Our boat’s called Beau Soleil! It took us six months to design the project and three months to build it. We’ve been working on it since the end of January. It’s powered by solar energy and has two engines and four hydrofoils”.


Tomorrow is the first half-day conference entitled ‘Sustainability transition: challenges, engagement and adoption’ attended by industry players and representatives from the major America’s Cup syndicates like Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and a speech by Boris Herrmann of YCM’s Malizia-Seaexplorer.