The Monaco Yacht Club is going ahead with this year’s Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge by harnessing the power of digital communication to take on the headwind of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

It will be a first-ever “virtual” competition that fully respects health considerations around the world, as YCM General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri said: “Given the situation and to continue supporting the hard work already put in by teams, we felt we had to adapt. With all the uncertainty, we are not able to host a conventional event for the public. Last year, we had over a thousand visitors through the village and 350 participants. We had to find a solution to keep it going without contravening the guidelines.”

Organised by the Monaco Yacht Club alongside the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and International Powerboating Federation, for seven years this unique event has focused on zero emission propulsion, bringing together researchers, academics, future engineers, inventors, and yachting and energy professionals. All share the same ambition to develop alternative propulsion systems to build the future of yachting.

Participants in the three classes – Solar, Energy Class and Open Sea – have until May 31 to submit a presentation of their project to a Technical Jury of professionals, key players in the industry and partners. Each team then has an opportunity to defend their work in an oral interview organised between June 30 and July 4, before an online awards ceremony on Saturday evening.

There are three awards. An Innovation Prize for the most advanced improvements of visionary and relevant innovations, the aim being to promote systems that can be adapted to meet the sector’s requirements from a production and pricing point of view. Candidates also have to prepare a written presentation of their project supported by photos, sketches or videos, plus a critical analysis of the advantages and disadvantages. Their conclusions should be based on tests carried out to prove the efficiency of the boat and its clean energy fuel source.

The Eco Conception Prize puts the spotlight not only on the efficiency of the materials and processes used, but also its contribution to science and the teams’ commitment to sharing good practices. Participation in a collaborative approach, preventive actions, the boat’s performance and reduced impact on the environment are key cornerstones of the project in this category, which also requires a written presentation and analysis to be submitted as above.

Finally, the Spirit Prize reflects the spirit of the competition by rewarding participants for originality in how they present their work, the team, their boat, how it evolved and the technical work achieved over the past few months. The winners in each of the three categories (all classes combined) will receive a cheque for €2,000.

ORIGINAL SOURCE: Monaco Yacht Club PHOTO: MYC Studio Borlenghi