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Flying on victory’s wings: MG’s Furia wins Monaco Solar Boat Challenge

It’s summer, so it’t time to race around the world. From July 13 to 15 we travelled south once more to defend our international championship title in Monaco’s Solar & Electric Boat Challenge. And we won, yet again! Does it get easier? No. But it does get better.

No matter how many medals we’ve conquered, when the starting signal fires, we fight just as hard as anyone else. Or maybe even harder. Because it’s not just about winning, it’s about developing clean energy solutions and about raising awareness for a better tomorrow.

For over a century Monaco has been a pioneer in powerboating. Just like previous years Port Hercule bay staged an unusual spectacle for vessels powered solely by the sun. Designed and driven by international university students, these revolutionary boats are the guarantee of a future where environmental protection and innovation will become inseparable.

Wings above water…

Each year, teams from all over the world gather in Monte Carlo to compete in several challenges. And every time, their boats get better. Never before did we encounter so many other hydrofoil constructions. Which make perfect sense: when these ‘wings’ start to carry a hull above of the water, the speed can easily double.

… and dangers on sea

But so do the dangers. Especially on open seas, with salty water and unpredictable waves. That’s why we’ve spent the past few months improving our Furia’s stability. We’ve tested more than ever before. We’ve brought all the spares that we could carry. But would it be enough?

On Friday we participated in the first part, known as the Endurance Fleet Race. Its goal is to complete 50 laps over a closed course of about 0,5 nautical miles. Everything ran smoothy and we finished first, with an lead of 20 laps on our runner up.

Later on we won the International YCM Speed Record, with a velocity of 47.906 km/h, registered over one eighth of a mile (231.5m). Even though we didn’t beat our personal best, neither did anyone else, so the record of the world’s fastest solar boat is still in our name.

The Slalom Races were scheduled on Saturday morning. We got two attempts to set a time, and our second run turned out to be the quickest, with a time of of 1:11.5.

Just hours later, the One on One Sprint Championship Race took place. This knock-out duel proved quite worrisome in unexpected ways, but we finished first and at the end of the day we did secure the title.

Victory’s wings

We were lucky and our efforts came to fruition. Does it get sweeter? Yes. Even after four back-to-back victories, we were as grateful as ever to fly home on victory’s wings!

Many thanks

Once again we’d like to thank Yacht Club De Monaco for organising this spectacular event, as well as our wonderful sponsors CLAFIS and Victron Energy for allowing us to take a part in it. Together we fight the global battle for sustainable energy.

 

Coming back from a crash: MG’s Furia wins Eneco Solar Boat Race

Last weekend the 2017 solar boat racing season was opened in Akkrum by the Eneco Solar Boat Race NK 2017. The two day race event comprised three challenges: a 52 km endurance race on Friday May 26th, a 1 hour lap race on Saturday May 27th, followed by a 350 meter sprint race for the grand finale. The weighted results of all three elements were taken into account to determine the overall winner.

After a winter spent indoors improving our Furia, we were eager to get back in the water and put our efforts to the test. The sun shone bright, our hopes were high and we started off quite well, setting a new record in the endurance race of 1 hour and 45 minutes. But then our fortunes turned. Early in the lap race we ran into some debris under water and our propellor got hit. Upon investigation we found out it was severely damaged, wrecked beyond repair. It seemed the race was over.

But if there’s one thing we’ve learned in all these years of racing, it’s to to never give up. Through the worst of setbacks, our team has developed a handy habit of carrying spare parts, for just about anything. Including a propellor. Within seven minutes the prop was switched, the boat back in the water, and the pursuit well on its way.

We were on the brink of dropping out. And for a while it seemed as if we’d finish last. But our team pushed through on sheer determination. Once again, our Furia finished first. Furthermore, we won the sprint race. For the fourth time, we secured the Dutch championship.

We’d like to thank Eneco Zonnebootrace for another fantastic event. We enjoyed the challenge and are proud to have won!

MG’s Furia wins international solar boat challenges and sets a new speed record

Winner of the Dutch Solar Challenge 2016

Some say there is only one thing harder than winning a title: defending it. Cliché as it may sound, it sure felt like this during the Dutch Solar Challenge last month. No race was harder, yet no victory was sweeter. It was a narrow squeak, but we managed to win the Dutch Solar Challenge once again and thereby prolong our uninterrupted string of back-to-back victories since 2009.

This year’s edition of the Dutch world championship turned out to be an exciting week of adversity, tough competition and unexpected twists and thrills until the very last mile. Due to bad luck and mechanical mishaps to the MG powered Furia solar boat in the first few days, we saw our chances of prolonging our title rapidly diminishing. Midway through the race we placed second in the overall ranking with little hope of securing another win. Our fiercest contestant, TU Delft Solar Boat Team, succeeded in developing a very competitive boat, with top speeds rivaling ours. But the hardest part was yet to come.

Because the longest and final leg of the race on Saturday was also reputed as the most challenging of all. Even more because the sun was expected to disappear and rain was predicted for the last 30 kilometers; in the end it all came down to energy management and strategy. By keeping a sharp eye on the weather, meticulously monitoring our battery capacity, and our solution’s superior efficiency, we eventually flew across the final finish line at 40 km/h – first – and so far ahead of the rest of the field we conquered the world championship title once more. The team felt more proud than ever before for having persevered against all odds.

On top of that, we were the fastest to travel the total distance and ranked first in the sprinting championship.

Winner of the Monaco Solar Boat Challenge

Little time was left for celebration, because three days later we left for Monaco to defend our title during the Monaco Solar Boat Challenge. A whole new ballgame, because this is the first and only contest for solar-powered race boats to take place on open sea.

During three days of competition on the Mediterranean waters, combining a fleet endurance race, a timed slalom course and one-on-one duels, we proved our supremacy by ranking first in each and every challenge and winning the overall championship title for the third year running.

Another highlight was the International YCM International Speed Record, over the distance of one eighth of a nautical mile. In company of tough competition, we are very proud to have set the new average speed of 49.10km/h, beating our own record set in 2015.

The third edition was inevitably overshadowed by the tragic events that took place in Nice on 14th July. During the somber parade on Friday, we paid homage to the victims and their families. All participants were keen to show solidarity and reaffirmed our shared desire to build a better future together.

Powered by CLAFIS and Victron Energy

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, especially CLAFIS and Victron Energy, for enabling us to join these spectacular races and also cheering us on along the way, with unwavering faith and support.