Solarteam SWC

Youth and sustainability are the future. So when the Solar Team of the Stellingwerf College asked us to sponsor their solar boat, we didn’t have to think twice. Meanwhile, the boat has been built and the first races have been sailed.

Race report of June 26th

“Saturday we sailed an online Young Solar Challenge race in the Tjonger (Sluis II Jubbega).

Sven Bergsma sailed with our solar boat 9.17 kilometres in the 1 hour race time! In the process of charging the batteries, something went wrong. Our battery charger indicated that our batteries were full, but this turned out not to be the case and we found this out later. Despite this obstacle on our way to the championship, we still have hope! In the coming week we will solve this and we will make sure that we are 100% ready for the upcoming race weekend in Franeker!

Despite the opposition during the race we used a good tactic which helped us to get to this, nevertheless, beautiful distance. Our tactic was to start at average speed and to take a final sprint at the end. And we were just in time, because when we were hoisting the boat out of the water, there was a big black cloud hanging over Lock II. A little later it poured down from the sky.

We finished 11th in this race. Overall, we are now in 10th place!”

  • Young Solar Challenge

Young Solar Challenge

In the Young Solar Challenge, teams compete with a self-made solar-powered boat. The teams consist of young people between 14 and 17 years. With the Young Solar Challenge they try to make young people enthusiastic for technique and sustainability, after which they can possibly choose a further education in this. In addition to technology and sustainability, the participants also deal with other issues such as teamwork, tactics, communication, budgeting and sponsorship. Because of the different tasks there is something for everyone.

The challenge consists of four competitions. This year these take place in Franeker and Purmerend. In addition, there are two “online races” that are sailed in waters close to the home base of the team. At the end of the four races the goal for the teams is to get as few points as possible, the team that succeeds in this eventually wins the Young Solar Challenge.

Sponsoring a Solarteam

In order to participate, a school needs a starter package. This includes a cutting package (the wood for the hull), the rent for 1 season use of the solar panels, battery, MPPT’s and motor, the teaching package which consists of 2 junior classes at a college, an instructional video to help build the boat, starting tickets for the races and overnight stays at campsites.

Besides the kit, there are more costs, but this is up to the teams themselves whether these costs will actually be incurred or whether they can get sponsorship from companies. Think for example of all the materials to laminate and paint the boat. But also a trailer for the boat, a life jacket, paddle etc. Any other extra costs are the catering, transport, etc.

Pictures courtesy of Solarteam SWC