Buoyed by the success of the first four editions, the Yacht Club de Monaco is to expand the solar-powered boat event to embrace all clean energy sources.
The goal: promote and optimise propulsion systems. Organised in collaboration with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Hydros Foundation and the International Powerboating Federation (UIM), the event is the only one of its kind in the world.
The purpose is to encourage technological innovation to meet the energy needs of the leisure boat and shipping industries and the accompanying and environmental prerogatives.
“Our wish is to bring together a new generation of engineers to imagine and build the motorboats of tomorrow. It is an integral part of the Principality’s commitment to the environment, spearheaded by our President Prince Albert II. If we want to position Monaco as the capital of yachting, we are duty-bound to play our part in these technical advances. These students are reinventing motorboating, they are creating their future by building a cleaner tomorrow. How can we not support them?” explains YCM General Secretary, Bernard d’Alessandri.
Keen to expand the event to all renewable energy sources, the Yacht Club de Monaco is launching another first. Competitors, engineering students and industrialists are to be given a one-design catamaran hull (Monaco Energy Class), specially designed for competition. Their challenge is to build a cockpit for their boat and design the most powerful and durable propulsion system possible, all from a given amount of energy. The initiative will highlight innovative ideas conceived by young engineers who will share their works on “Open Source” every evening. All have the same ambition: to create, innovate and rethink propulsion systems for the future that fully respect the environment.
Solar still shines
A mainstay at every edition since the event launched in 2014, solar energy still has top billing. An endurance fleet race, timed slaloms and one-on-duels will be organised throughout the three days in the bay and benefit from the patronage of Bertrand Piccard. He is the man behind Solar Impulse, the first fuel-less zero-emissions plane with limitless autonomy.
Offshore race: heading East
In parallel to the contests in the bay, there will also be an offshore race from Monaco to Ventimiglia in Italy. Boats must comply with YCM Offshore Class requirements, which means being able to take three people and meet technical specifications defined in a collaboration with the UIM.
While the two harbours are set to be interconnected soon, this race presents a big test for renewable energy end-users. The value of the example will be as significant as the need is concrete.
“With this new route, the aim is to highlight the enormous potential of our young engineers supported by the shipyards. We have a common goal, which is to work together to build the leisure boats of tomorrow,” explains Marco Casiraghi, himself an engineer and the man behind this project.
Monaco tradition as laboratory for new technology
Port Hercule bay will again be the stage for a futuristic spectacle as it hosts teams from all over Europe. It is all part of a tradition that began over a century ago when pioneers came to Monaco to test their engine developments on motorboats.
A tradition that inspired neighbour Saint-Tropez’ Hydrocontest launched last year. HydroContest is the first competition for students dedicated to energy efficiency at sea. As both an educational and raising awareness tool, and an incubator of ideas and technologies, HydroContest brings together the engineers of tomorrow around this challenge.
Hulls for Tropezians, propulsion for Monegasques… PACA has stated its ambition to be a pioneer of new technology.