In Monaco, which has seen countless water competitions on motor boats and sailing boats, another one, unusual even for a spoiled principality, will start on 10 July. Regatta Solar1 Monte Carlo CupHowever, unusual by many standards - this first, international top-level regatta, which will only take part in solar-powered boats.
Solar racing itself is not news. The most famous of these days, the Dong Energy Sollar Challenge, has been held in the Netherlands since 2006 - it has grown from a Dutch international competition. Boats have also been improved in 8 years, in 2010 they got hydrofoils, but at the same time they accelerated significantly. The initiative was picked up by Nakhimov and its director, Sergey Dobroserdov, who gathered solar enthusiasts on the Côte d'Azur where they are hosted by the luxury yacht club Monaco, which recently opened its doors to a new, impressive building designed by star British architect Norman Foster. This is a great chance for the industry to show the world how far it has come while we were all watching 'sail' and 'motor' closely.
We will be following the race in Monaco, and in the meantime we will talk about what awaits us at Solar1.
What to see and where to show yourself
The event will take place from 10 to 13 July and the social component (cocktails, meetings, dinners) will be an integral part of it. On the very first day of the race there are no plans, there will be a conference on solar energy, a parade of participants, communication with the media and a gala dinner. But Friday and Saturday will be full-fledged racing days. On Friday, July 11, fleet races are scheduled, and on Saturday the «sprint race» for speed and a race called «slalom», where boats will compete in agility.
The place of action will vary depending on the type of race. «The slalom» track will extend beyond the port of Hercule and the pilots will demonstrate how obedient, manageable and manoeuvrable solar-powered units are in Monaco's open waters.
Fleet race, or endurance race - its course is designed so that the boats will be easy to follow from different points in the resort area of Larvatto.
The race for the fastest (one-on-one) will take place directly in the port of Hercule. It is most convenient to watch it from the new building of the Yacht Club of Monaco, as well as from the Hermitage and Hotel de Paris - those who rent a room with a sea view will have a bonus to watch the races.
Look who's here.
26 teams from different countries have applied for participation, it is not surprising that most of them are from the Netherlands. But there are teams from Brazil, Germany, USA, France, Monaco and even Russia among them. We have one team - Team Beluga.
However, the most pressing question remains: «On which units will everything happen?»The race involves three boat classes with different specifications: A class, Open Class and V20. Behind these alphabetical designations is the following:
A class - Formula 1
The most powerful class is Formula 1, a boat up to 6 m long, designed for one person and equipped with standard solar panels with a maximum output of 1750 WP. Very soon we will know what speed can be squeezed out of it.
Open Class - and don't say no to yourself.
The name of the class speaks for itself - there are minimum restrictions, everyone who fits into Open Class is bound only by the budget and his fantasy. According to the regulations, they do not have any limits on power output and the number of solar panels.
Comrades will burn in the most ecological sense of the word.
As a rule, boats in this class are racing at speeds of about 30 knots.
V20 - the Solar Cup of «America»
The smallest, newest and most curious class for us - it has four teams, including Russian «Beluga». This is the first solar monotype developed by the famous Vripack studio.
Above all, it's a «flying hydrofoil» boat. Like America's Cup, the Dutch are joking.
The V20 class was introduced in November last year. It is capable of speeds of up to 30 km/h. It has 22 flexible solar panels with 2390 cells. The electric motor has a power of 4 kW. The boat is designed so that the solar energy can be copied in lithium-ion batteries, or can be immediately launched on the propeller. The battery can be recharged on the go.
In late June and early June, boats of this class were successfully tested at the DONG Energy Solar Challenge, where Vripack had its own crew.
Despite the fact that all the boats in the class are the same, the teams have the right to step left or right by changing a number of elements.
So, they can experiment with hydrofoils and replace the propeller.T
increase or decrease the weight of solar panels (or to leave it unchanged) is also a matter for the crew and its financial capabilities.
July, however, will be sunny not only on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the baton picked up the business school «Skolkovo», which at the end of the month plans to hold a similar (not in scale, of course) regatta in Moscow. We will keep you informed!