Solar1 Monte-Carlo Cup










Monaco sunshine the new fuel for motorboats…
Monaco, Sunday 13th July 12 noon – The departure from Quai Louis II of the giant 30m PlanetSolar catamaran with 512m2 of photovoltaic panels signalled the end of the Solar1 Monte-Carlo Cup, the first race for boats powered by the sun on the open sea in the Mediterranean.
“The solar energy industry is expanding fast and those involved in the luxury yacht industry are very interested in its development,” comments Sergei Dobroserdov, CEO of Solar 1, the instigator for this project alongside the Yacht Club de Monaco. The Monaco Club, which benefits from the expertise of Marco Casiraghi, wanted this meeting dedicated to the new generation to be the first international event organised in its new premises which were inaugurated on the 20th of June 2014.  
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 YCM members.
Congratulations to the Dutch who pulled off a double, winning the Open Class (the most innovative, as there is only one restriction - the length - 8m or less) and in the A class (maximum length 6m and four solar panels). The Russian Team Beluga Powered by Synergy won the one-design V20 class (designed 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 which was open to the public to come aboard. “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 laboratory for solar energy.  “I am full of admiration for the ingenuity and creativity of the teams, some of whom are only 18. It’s a bold challenge but above all a message of hope for the future. The technology on trial today - and not without its risks - will one day, I hope, become the norm in the leisure boat sector.”
At the closing dinner, HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II, President of the YCM, whose commitment to preserving the planet is well known through his eponymous foundation, warmly congratulated all the teams: “Thanks to your ingenuity, your technical skills and scientific knowledge, you have shown that solar-powered propulsion is a very promising solution for the future – which I hope will be developed and applied in the leisure boat industry on larger vessels. It gives me great pride to see our Principality reviving a golden age, remembering that in 1904 the first power-boat races held here made a significant contribution to the development of the combustion engine. Monaco remains at the forefront of new technologies in the motor-boat sector.”



First rounds in fleet for the solar canots 



In the first day of competition, the Fleet race saw the three classes in strong competition with each other.  The sun was strong and the water was slightly choppy, a regular day for most boats but still challenging for boats raced previously on lakes or along waterways.






In the A Class, limited to a 6m length with four standard solar panels and maximum power output of 1750WP, the Dutch Solar Boat Team managed to win the race by approximately a lap against their closest competitor.



In the Open Class, limited by its 8m length otherwise only by creativity and innovation, the Finnish team Midnight Sun KYAMK won by a substantial margin while Dutch teams Clafis Private Energy Solar Boat Teams I and II battled out for a very close second place.





In the V20 class with all boats designed exactly the same but allowed to modify with innovative extras like foils, propellors or larger or lighter batteries, Team Beluga Powered by Synergy won the race easily.  Speaking to team manager Maxim Logutenko afterward, he explained that his team’s success stemmed from their experience in racing same class sailboats and being well versed in making very small but important modifications in order to gain the competitive edge.




Tomorrow, Saturday 12th July, sees the start of the competition at 11.00am with the Slalom race followed by the start of the One-on-One Championship Sprint race at 1.30pm.

Entry to the Boat Paddock is free to the public.













First ever solar-powered boat race on the sea kicks off in the Mediterranean



Monaco, 10th July 2014 - “Welcome to the future! Solar1 races was created to promote the use of solar power in our everyday lives, which I strongly believe in. I see it as a great opportunity to animate and excite a new generation, whilst also focusing their attention on important issues such as renewable energy. We use global events to communicate, educate and promote a greener and brighter future to a new generation. Today, we race in Monaco. Tomorrow, we hope to bring the same excitement and innovation to other major yachting centres world-wide. I would like our future to v clean, economical and sustainable. Solar1 moves us all towards a greener, brighter future!”





It was with these words that Sergei Dobroserdov, President of Solar1 welcomed the 25 teams representing 10 nationalities at the opening Solar Conference.


On a sunny July 10th afternoon in front of the Yacht Club de Monaco’s new building, Solar1 launched the first edition of the Solar1 Monte-Carlo Cup, the first solar boat race to be held on the open sea and in the Mediterranean, and the first of many events aimed not only to entertain, but also to educate people in the progress and capabilities of solar power.




In the YCM’s new building, the Solar1 Monte-Carlo Cup brings together for three days experts and enthusiasts from the worlds of solar power, green technology and competitive sport and showcases 25 powerful, sun-driven vessels that have been created through inspirational designs and creative thinking. For Bart Bouwhuis and Marnix Hoekstra, Directors of Vripack and creators of the V20, “through the Solar1 Monte-Carlo Cup we are promoting an incredible synergy between nature, innovation and motion.”




Inside the Club, the Solar1 Technical Conference was introduced by racing and renewable energy enthusiast, Marco Casiraghi, and featured talks by some of the key players of this historic race and solar industry experts presenting the latest in innovation and market trends.




Mid-afternoon saw the boats hit the water and the pilots follow PlanetSolar out of Port Hercule.  The award winning & world-record breaking MS Tûranor PlanetSolar was the first solar powered boat to successfully circumnavigate the world under the experienced watch of Captain Gérard d’Aboville and led the Solar1 Grand Prix boats in a parade in front of the Musée d’Oceanographie and back into harbor surrounded by press boats.



Tomorrow, Friday 11th July, sees the start of the competition at 11.00am with the fleet race.

Entry to the Boat Paddock is free to the public.



Friday 11th July 2014

From 9.00am:               Boat Paddock and Solar Village open to the public

12.00 noon-4.00pm:             Solar-powered boat races


Saturday 12th July 2014

From 9.00am:              Boat Paddock and Solar Village open to the public

10am-12.30pm:          Start of slalom races

11am-1.00pm:            Kids Solar Model Boat Race

1.30pm-4.30pm:        Challenges

5.00pm:                       Winners parade lap

5.45pm:                       Prize-giving




Solar1 Partners

Eurosport, Vripack, UIM, PlanetSolar, Hill Dickinson, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Tourist and Convention Authority, Okios, Orsto, Faimont Monte Carlo, Green TV, Boat International, Wajer & Wajer, SuperYacht Times, WeWi, Nakhimov, Enphase Energy, The Sun Factory and Riviera Magazine.














Scheduled to take place from 10th to 12th July the Solar1 Monte-Carlo Cup launches the Yacht Club de Monaco’s summer nautical programme just days after the official inauguration of its new building.






With a few days to go the first boats are already starting to arrive in Port Hercule, arousing a great deal of interest from passers-by. Designed, built and driven by engineering students from universities, these motor-boats are set to write a new chapter in maritime history. As a sports discipline it has a bright future ahead, combining talent and endurance in craft powered only by the sun, with teams from major engineering institutions, like the Carnegie Mellon Solar Racing Team (USA), Delft University of Technology (Holland) and UFSC University (Brazil).


Divided into three classes (Class A, V20 and Open Class), teams will be competing in a slalom course, fleet race and one-one-one sprints between two buoys. A fascinating contest is in store on the open sea, just outside Port Hercule so the public can follow the races and have free access to the boat paddocks.





The Jury boat is the giant catamaran PlanetSolar (31m with 537m2 of photovoltaic panels), whose engines are powered only by the sun. She is already docked in front of the new YCM building. A reminder that this was the vessel which left Monaco in 2010, arriving back in the Principality in 2012 having completed the first round the world tour for a solar-powered boat.


Other highlights include the Solar1 Conference, on Thursday 10th July at 10.00am in the Yacht Club’s lounges. The public is invited to discover more about the technology from industry experts, including Bart Bouwhuis and Marnix J. Hoekstra (naval architects with Vripack), Joris Melkert (Technical Director at TU Delft), Aleksi Tukianen of Cambridge University, Vittorio Chiesa of the Politecnico of Milano, renowned navigator Gérard d'Aboville (MS Tûranor PlanetSolar Captain) and Marco Casiraghi, member of the Yacht Club de Monaco, who has helped and supported the initiative of Sergei Dobroserdov, CEO of Solar1.


As the key to our future, children are more than welcome to these three days of festivities and to sign up for a competition racing model solar-powered boats organised on the swimming pool in the new Clubhouse (Deck 2).


In the evenings a DJ will keep everyone entertained in the Boat Paddock, with live jazz performed by the Delftse Studenten Big Band. Solar powered boats - Nuon6 (Nuon Solar Team from the Netherlands) and CUER (Cambridge University) will also be on display.





HSH Prince Albert II, YCM President, is fully behind the event: “It’s a whole new adventure and sends a strong signal from the environment field.”


Bernard d’Alessandri, Secretary General of the Yacht Club de Monaco, comments: “The high level of technology being developed by this new generation of engineers suggests it could soon be applied to leisure boats including the biggest yachts. We saw the same enthusiasm in the early 20th century when Monaco hosted powerboat meetings and the Principality became one of the finest showcases for an emerging motor-boating sector.”



Provisional Programme (note: may be subject to change)


Wednesday 9th July 2014

From 9.00am:             Arrival and registration of boats to the “Boat Paddock”

10.00am:                     Boat Paddock and Solar Village open to the public


Thursday 10th July 2014

From 9.00am:             Boat Paddock and Solar Village open to the public

10.00-3.00pm:            Solar Conference

3.00pm:                      Team Parade

7.00pm:                      Official Opening Ceremony (upon invitation)


Friday 11th July 2014

From 9.00am: Boat Paddock and Solar Village open to the public

12.00 noon-4.00pm:            Start of fleet races

9.00pm:                      Solar Party in collaboration with Beluga (upon invitation)


Saturday 12th July 2014

From 9.00am: Boat Paddock and Solar Village open to the public

10am-12.30pm:          Start of slalom races

11am-1.00pm:             Kids Solar Model Boat Race (YCM, Deck 2)

1.30pm-4.30pm:         Challenges (One on One championship sprint races)

5.00pm:                       Winners parade lap

5.45pm:                       Prize-giving

8.00pm:                      Gala Dinner (upon invitation)




Race course