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MONACO, July 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The curtain falls on the 10th Monaco Energy Boat Challenge. For four days, at the Yacht Club de Monaco, 31 international universities and some 50 teams coming from 25 nations, such as the United States, France, Indonesia, India, Italy and Germany, competed at sea in a range of contests with the aim of testing alternative energy sources to power the maritime industry of the future. The winner of the Energy Class for the third year in a row is the Italian team UniBoat from Bologna University and in the Solar Class first place went to team Sunflare.
“I think we are at a very good international level. We had a Job Forum which is a way for young people taking part in this competition to find a job in the future. We also had some investors who are looking for new technologies for yachting, marinas, ships and that is very important for us. Monaco has once again confirmed its role of Capital of Advanced Yachting involving young generation and their vision of the future,” said YCM general secretary Bernard d’Alessandri.
Three the categories in this tenth edition: Solar Class, Energy Class and Open Sea Class.
The winner of the Energy Class is the Italian team Uniboat of Bologna University. “The race went very well,” says Federico Vanzini, the team’s pilot. “We proved that we brought here an improved product and won because of our great reliability. I wanted to thank the whole team, especially those who have upgraded the boat through the years taking it to the level it is now at. The endurance race on Friday was incredible with a very rough sea but we found out to have an absolutely reliable and strong boat and we headed to a clear victory. Today it was tougher: the Greeks of the Oceanos team (arrived second) built a very strong boat and gave us a hard time. It was tough competition until the last minute.”
As previous times, UniBoat team kept a multihybrid propulsion on their boat ‘Futura’ with battery plus hydrogen tanks and solar panels. This year the team implemented also the ‘Adas’ technology in order to, with the help of a stereo vision camera, recognize objects in the sea and permit an autonomous drive system. Second place went to ‘Oceanos’ team of Athens University and third place in the category went to UniGenova, at their debut in the competition. The Italian team from Genova was also awarded the ‘Eco conception price’.
First place in the Solar Class, dedicated to solar energy, went to Dutch team Sunflare.
“We consist of a team of 7 members and this is actually the fifth time that we won the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge in the Solar Class. In the beginning we still had glass solar panels then we switched to lighter solar panels, we added some hydrofoils, made the boat more stable and added few smaller upgrades. We’re currently developing a new battery so we get the capacity that we can have. Next year we’re going to be here with a new boat so that’s our future plan,” says the team pilot Gerlof Werkman.
From the jury point of view, chaired by EODev CEO Jeremie Lagarrigue, the event offers an interesting perspective on the future of the sectors. “I think the Yacht Club de Monaco with this event has really seen a long way on when the industry should be going and I think they are really going in the right direction. It’s interesting for us in terms of the perspective of materials that are being used and the different energy propulsion systems to be here. I think for the industry itself it’s a very good breeding ground for new ideas and innovations,” adds One Ocean Foundation general secretary and member of the jury Jan Pachner. Supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Credit Suisse, BMW and SBM Offshore, the event has attracted the attention of important shipyards such as Oceanco, Ferretti Group, Monaco Marine, Sanlorenzo, Lürssen and Palumbo SY Refit.
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