about Dutch Solar Challenge
Dutch Solar Challenge - World Cup for Solar Powered Boats
When and where?
The Dutch Solar Challenge will take place from July 2 through July 9, 2016. During this challenge 39 teams from The Netherlands and abroad will compete in solar powered boats. On July 2, we start in Amsterdam, and from Amsterdam the race continues via Lemmer to Drachten, and to Grou. On July 9, the boats will finish in Leeuwarden. At all five locations, sprint and endurance races will be held, and between the locations in Friesland the contestants will be racing three stages of about sixty kilometres (ca. 37 miles). The teams develop their own boat and/or technical aspects of the boat. It's all about handling clever techniques in the correct way, but also about agility, insight, and teamwork.
Who and how?
On July 2, alongside the teams from The Netherlands, consisting of mainly students Engineering and innovative durable companies, teams from Indonesia, Brazil, Poland, Belgium, Bahrain, Turkey, America, Finland, Hungary, and China will start. The teams use innovative techniques to make sure solar panels convert energy, since it is also important the boats have to be able to sail when the sun does not shine. This requires smart solutions, and handling energy the right way.
There are four classes: The A class, the B class, the Top class, and the V20 class. Honeywell, sponsor of the A and the B class, will supply the solar panels to the teams, mainly students, who participate in these classes. They will however, develop the technical specifications themselves. Boats in the A class will be sailed by one person, and in the B class by two or more persons. The contestants in the Top class are free to do what they want with their boats, within the set boundaries. They will provide the boat, organize the solar panels, and determine how the boat will be powered themselves. In the V20 class, all boats look the same. But the electronic system can be different. This class was introduced in 2014. During the race, the youngsters of the Young Solar class will participate in the DSC twice. These up-and-coming talents all have the same type of boat.
Program and route
In ten days, the participants will cover a distance of more than 200 kilometres (ca. 124 miles).
Amsterdam: July 2 and 3
The kick-off will be on Saturday, July 2 in Amsterdam. The participants will be sailing in parade through the canals of Amsterdam and on Sunday, July 3, sprint races will be held.
Lemmer: July 4
On Monday, July 4 the contestants will cross the Afsluitdijk in convoy and will launch their boats in Lemmer. In the water near Lemmer, a prologue and a sprint race will be held. A major networking event is part of the race. Innovative entrepreneurs and business clubs will get together.
Drachten: July 5 and 6
On Tuesday, July 5 the boats will leave Lemmer to sail the first stage of approx. 60 kilometres (ca. 37 miles) between cities. They will sail the Tjeukemeer, the Langweerderwielen en de Wijde Ee to finish in Drachten. On Wednesday, July 6 the program will further consist of a sprint and endurance race in Drachten. This means that the boats have to race a certain distance within a set time.
Grou: July 7 and 8
On Thursday, July 7, the boats will sail from Drachten to Grou. During this stage, which is also about 60 kilometres (ca. 37 miles), they will sail through an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Alde Feanen near Earnewoude and the new Polderhoofdkanaal. The next day, Friday July 8, there will be another sprint and a spectacular endurance race. This endurance race will start in an extraordinary way with the so-called Le Mans start. One team member will run about 2.5 kilometres (ca. 1.5 miles) from the sailing centre to the harbour. There, the team member will have to touch the boat after which the boat may start the race. This is going to be a spectacular event!
Leeuwarden: July 9
On Saturday, July 9, the last stage of about 60 kilometres (ca. 37 miles) will be sailed from Grou via Sneek to Leeuwarden. In the Prinsentuin in Leeuwarden, the solar boats will finish under the watchful eye of a large audience. Here, the winners of the DSC 2016 will be revealed, followed by the awards ceremony. During the last day of the DSC, several entrepreneurs will have a gathering as well.
This is the sixth time the Solar Challenge will be held. In 2006, the first edition took place under the name Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge. They started with 24 boats in Leeuwarden, and the route followed the Frisian eleven cities tour. It took the fastest solar boat 17 hours in six days to cover a distance of 200 kilometres. In 2010, 2012 and 2014 the race was held under the name DONG Energy Solar Challenge. There were many innovations, such as hydrofoil technology. Boats that use hydrofoil technology are also simply termed hydrofoils. As a hydrofoil craft gains speed, the hydrofoils lift the boat's hull out of the water, decreasing drag and allowing greater speeds. In 2014, the route extended to Groningen, and that year the fastest boat finished in just over seven hours.