The 8th annual Monaco Energy Boat Challenge isn’t until July, but the contestants are already in full gear preparing for the event which invites researchers, academics, future engineers, inventors, and yachting and energy professionals to present their best ideas for alternative, clean boat propulsion systems.
Organised by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Yacht Club of Monaco and the International Powerboating Federation, the 8th edition of the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge is set for 6th to 10th July.
The event challenges some of the best and brightest minds in the yachting community to come up with ways to make green boat propulsion solutions.
Roughly 35 teams are expected to participate. Of these, 17 teams, representing 12 different nations including Monaco, the Netherlands, and China, will compete in the Energy Class.
Candidates in this category are required to design propulsion systems using renewable energy sources. The source is of their own choice, but all teams are restricted to using the same quantity of energy. As such, every team is given a catamaran hull supplied by the Yacht Club of Monaco to modify. The Energy Class competition has been a huge success since the 2018 launch of the category, seeing previous teams returning to try their hands.
A more established category, the Solar Class, which was one of the inaugural classes, looks at boats powered exclusively by solar power alone. One-on-one races, slalom courses and endurance races test the teams’ project limits. There are 15 teams expected to compete in this category.
Finally, the newly renamed Open Sea Class, formerly called the Offshore Class, is open to electric or hydrogen boats already on the market or about to enter it. Those in this class test their vessels through a series of gruelling events, including a 16 nautical mile (29.6 kilometre) race from Monaco to Ventimiglia. The course is both a test of endurance as well as manoeuvrability. The Candela Swedish team, as well as Laneva and Vita Yachts, two Monaco-based companies, have already confirmed their attendance.
Hydrogen power will be a huge focus of this year’s competition. France announced plans to become a major player in hydrogen by 2030 in September, and European nations are looking at this source of energy as a clean way forward. Six teams have declared their intention to use hydrogen in their projects, including Monaco’s own SBM Offshore E-Racing Team.
The competition is only part of the event. The Yacht Club will also be hosting exhibitors. Demonstrators and start-ups will be on hand, as many projects dedicated to new energy sources for the yachting world will be unveiled on the quay and in the YCM Marina. Additionally, the public can speak with contestants at a conference scheduled for 8th July where a broad array of topics will be discussed such as bio-composites, alternative propulsion systems, clean energy in action and build efficiency.
Photo by Carlo Boring/YCM