Wednesday 6th July 2022. Today, the Village and Paddocks are open at the 9th Monaco Energy Boat Challenge, the big meeting of alternative power sources, perpetuating a tradition in the Principality which in 1904 was at the cutting edge of boat propulsion innovation. Professionals, exhibitors and young engineers are all here again in Monaco set to demonstrate, present and test their latest innovations to an audience of experts and the curious, including Indian sailor Abhilash Tomy, here to support his nation’s team taking part for the first time at an international motorboating event, and explorer Mike Horn.
Organised by Yacht Club de Monaco in partnership with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and support of Credit Suisse, BMW and SBM Offshore, as well as the Oceanco shipyard, the event has drawn 38 teams, 27 universities, 21 nations and 36 exhibitors. That adds up to 50+ boats on the water, a record since the meeting launched in 2014.
Under the aegis of the collective Monaco, Capital of Advanced Yachting umbrella, the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge promises three action-packed days of sea trials, Tech Talks in open source and a full-day conference, all focused on progressing greener technologies to power boats.
Tomorrow, Thursday 7th July, yachting and energy sector professionals will attend a full-day conference (registration required), on the theme Energy Transition in Yachting: Opportunities and Limits. Some 20 speakers are lined up to discuss topics such as progress on alternative renewable energy margins, carbon-free energy production onboard and challenges and solutions yachting can provide in terms of infrastructure, facilities and construction. Talks by experts on solar and wind power, hydro-generation, batteries, electric engines and hydrogen will the set the scene for some lively discussions.
Friday 8th July is the turn of the 3rd Monaco Hydrogen Working Group Round Table, its theme Unlocking hydrogen barriers in the maritime sector: port regulations and economic viability of projects (by invitation). Organised in partnership with Monaco’s Energy Transition Mission, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Yacht Club de Monaco, this gathering of industry players sets the tone for an event eager to hear about the latest developments. These are the players paving the way for an energy source that has already become a key component of green solutions in propulsion. It’s not just about the current situation but also finance for projects that depend on it and what regulations need to be implemented.
After the traditional parade involving all boats, entrants will compete in their categories, with the Solar and Energy Classes doing their first round of qualifying laps, each one completing a closed 0.5 nautical mile circuit for 20 minutes. Their arrival times will determine the starting order for the Championship Race on Saturday 9th July. Meanwhile, the Open Sea Class lines up on the start for the manoeuvrability challenge in the YCM Marina, a chance to demonstrate their boat’s potential provided they don’t exceed a speed of 3 knots.
Thirty-six exhibitors are set up in the Village, open from today (midday) through to Saturday 6.00pm to anyone keen to discover what’s new in sustainable propulsion and associated devices for the maritime sector.
Solutions are as ingenious as they are practical, like the Italians Razeto & Casareto who in partnership with Amer Yachts have synthesised an illuminated smart handle system that lights up to be detected in critical conditions to provide information such as indication of escape routes in case of emergency.
Innovative, original and modern, this year’s Monaco Energy Boat Challenge has embraced the virtual world, with the launch of a new communications platform, a virtual 3D reality space that was launched this evening in the presence of Frédéric Genta, Monaco’s Country Chief Officer for the Digital Transition and Attractiveness. It means distance is no object as it opens up the event to the maximum number of enthusiasts and experts remotely. The technology employed is UNREAL 5, a powerful engine offering the most immersive realistic experience, it being the engine behind many online video games. This latest initiative under the Monaco, Capital of Advanced Yachting brand supports the transition and future of yachting and is open to YCM members, partners, guests and teams.
Many innovations await to be discovered in the virtual world and on the sea here in Monaco where the contests will be very real. Rendezvous at 10:00am on YCM’s quays to explore the exhibitors’ Village and paddocks brimming with innovative new ideas. Admission is free to the public.