The 10th Monaco Energy Boat Challenge kicked off on Wednesday July 5th with the visit of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, the president of the Yacht Club de Monaco, who was accompanied by the vice-presidents of the Y.C.M. Andrea and Pierre Casiraghi as well as the Secretary General of the Club Bernard d’Alessandri. They wanted to meet the young engineers and discover their latest innovations.
There were 46 teams, (21 nations and 31 Universities) including many students from prestigious universities but also companies. This year, the yachting industry really got involved creating a link between these two worlds.
“Here, it is possible to discover many innovations around, in particular, hydrogen propulsion, battery storage and solar panels, all in different categories: energy class, solar class and high seas class” specified the President of the international jury, Jérémie Lagarrigue, Director of EODev.
YCM E-Boat Rally
The first day was also marked by the start of the first YCM E-Boat Rallye. Organized in collaboration with Aqua superPower, the world’s leading fast-charging maritime network, this gathering organized between Monaco and Ventimiglia (round trip, 21 nautical miles) aimed to bring together a record number of manufacturers of electrical units.
Typical of the International nature of the event was Sea Sakthi. Coming from India, their team was present at the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge for the second consecutive year with its Yali boat equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell, a lithium battery and an electric propulsion system of its own manufacturing.
Monaco Energy Boat Challenge conference
The next day, Thursday July 6th focused on “transition and sustainability: challenges, involvement and adoption”. If the issues related to the use of new solutions and clean energies were at the heart of the discussions, the panelists also endeavoured to analyze the consequences on the entire ecosystem: from R&D to design, from development to boat building; whether it is offshore racing sailboats, motorboating, pleasure craft or super yachts.
The first conclusion, is that the complexity of all these state-of-the-art boats requires the involvement of many partners, suppliers, engineers and researchers in various fields, upstream and throughout the design chain rather than downstream.
The second conclusion is that efficiency must be at the heart of the concerns, and that the angle of dong things must be partially reversed, so that the approach, and therefore the engineering, is holistic
Which leads to a less exciting third conclusion: despite recent advances; despite a strong desire to be more proactive; and despite the involvement of many shipyards, the yachting industry remains rather conservative, and works for the long term.
Advances happen slowly. The first prototype of an electric boat with foils was presented by Jérémie Lagarrigue at the Yacht Club of Monaco, almost a decade ago in 2014. So Candela C8, which today embodies the mass production of this technology, only joined the MC Energy Boat Challenge in 2023.
The final word on the second day went to Jarkko Jamsen, naval architect at the head of the Navia studio and engineer passionate about technology, who works as much on large projects as on small units. The fact is “today technically, it is still mathematically impossible to have a 50m+ yacht that is all electric, our job remains to explore the possibilities, to combine the solutions, to experiment with new alternatives and to propose them to the market …”
Third Day Races
On the menu, a three nautical mile circuit anchored in the bay of Monaco enabled some forty teams (25 nations) to test the longevity of their mounts and their energy capacity. A treat for the public who came in large numbers to the Luciana pier to watch.
Simultaneously took place the 4th Hydrogen Round Table organized by the Yacht Club of Monaco in collaboration with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Mission for Energy Transition. Also took place the second recruitment session of the Job Forum, with the participation in particular of Monaco Marine, M3, and Palumbo SY.
Endurance Course Winners
Wind, choppy waves and sunshine was the setting for the endurance course offered to the three classes. In Solar as well as in the Energy Class, the winners left no room for outsiders:
The Dutch from Sunflare Solarteam won by making the highest number of circuit laps ( 22 laps) completed in two hours ahead of Han Solarboat …then Hogeschool Van Hall Larenstein.
In the Energy Class, a category which requires competitors to design the cockpit and the most efficient and longest-lasting propulsion system using the renewable energies of their choice, all from a given quantity of energy, the Universities Italians from UniBoat won the test in 27 laps.
In the Open Sea Class certified boat category, the Netherlands once again won the timpani with first place occupied by Vamp Marine. They were followed by the British pair of Vita-Seadog and Vita-Seal.
Hydrogen, between challenges and feasibility
For the fourth year, industry professionals came together for the 4th Hydrogen Round Table. Against the background of regulations and technological advances which also require time to reach commercial maturity, the panelists discussed in turn the solutions that could be envisaged in the short and long term in order to make hydrogen one of the strategic energies.
Certain limitations such as refueling infrastructure or storage issues still remain challenges to be faced.
On the final day, Saturday, the competitors in the Solar and Energy classes met in the morning for the slalom event to determine which is the fastest and most maneuverable. At the same time, the Open Sea Class set off in speed races lasting 16 nautical miles between Monaco and Ventimiglia (round trip). The day was punctuated by the championship, synonymous with a formidable spectacle where the teams competed two by two, on a wet course in the YCM Marina, under the encouragement of the students. All met on Saturday evening for the award ceremony for this 10th edition.
Comprehensive List of Results
See the results under the following link.
The Energy Boat Challenge event has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2014. With the support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, as well as Credit Suisse, BMW and SBM Offshore, the event involves leading players in the yachting industry such as shipyards Oceanco, Ferretti, Sanlorenzo, Lürssen, Monaco Marine and Palumbo SY Refit.
Also present was Malizia-Seaexplorer, the new IMOCA of Team Malizia founded by YCM Vice-President Pierre Casiraghi, which was in the Principality for the first time on 4th July 2023, with Pierre Casiraghi on board as well as Boris Herrmann and the whole team, having completed The Ocean Race round the world in stages with crew, a distance of 32,000 nautical miles.
Congratulations to the Energy Boat Challenge on completion of its 10th anniversary!