Monaco Sunshine The New Fuel for Motorboats

The 30m PlanetSolar the solar powered catamaran with her 512m2of photovoltaic panels was on hand in Monaco as the Solar1 Monte-Carlo Cup, came to a conclusion yesterday
This was the first ever race for boats powered by the sun on the open sea in the Mediterranean and followed a very successful racing session on the canals of the Netherlands two weeks ago
Three days of festivities attracted 25 teams from international universities, mainly northern Europe and the United States. The futuristic vessels designed and built by these young engineers competed in a fleet race, slalom races and one-on-one challenges in front of the Principality, watched with great interest by passers-by and members of the Monaco Yacht Club.
The Dutch pulled off a double, winning both the Open Class for the most innovative designed (there is only one restriction – the length – 8m or less) and in the A class (where the maximum length 6m and four solar panels).
The Russian Team Beluga Powered by Synergy won the one-design V20 class designed by Vripak to plane on foils, while the Monegasques, who were the only team from the Mediterranean basin, took third in their Nakhimov Racing boat driven by Gianmarco Casiraghi.
“We had a fantastic collection of boats here in Monaco! Some of them even had foils. It’s the first time I’ve seen this technology on solar boats,” observed Gérard d’Aboville, Captain of PlanetSolar, jury boat and guest of honour . “As the largest solar-powered boat in the world, PlanetSolar has its place alongside these smaller craft which will one day be big. It’s fantastic to see this bright new generation bringing their knowledge to the development of this energy of the future.”

As well as providing a futuristic spectacle on the water, the meeting was a in fact a working laboratory for solar energy. One day, perhaps this form of propulsion will become the norm in the leisure boat sector.