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VIDEO: Solar-powered boats race in the Mediterranean

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The Solar1 Monte-Carlo Cup, the first race for boats powered by the sun on the open sea in the Mediterranean Sea, was held during the weekend in Monte Carlo.

“The solar energy industry is expanding fast, and those involved in the luxury yacht industry are very interested in its development,” Solar1 and Monaco Yacht Club CEO Sergei Dobroserdov said in a statement.

Three days of festivities attracted 25 teams from international universities, mainly northern Europe and the United States. The futuristic vessels, designed and built by mostly young engineers, competed in a fleet race, slalom races and one-on-one challenges, which were viewed by a gallery of passersby and yacht club members.

A Dutch team pulled off a double, winning the Open Class (the most innovative, as there is only one restriction — a length of 26 feet, 4 inches or less) and the A class (maximum length 20 feet and four solar panels).

The Russian Team Beluga Powered by Synergy won the one-design V20 class (designed to plane on foils) and the team from Monaco, who were the only team from the Mediterranean basin, took third in their Nakhimov Racing boat.

“We had a fantastic collection of boats here in Monaco. Some of them even had foils. It’s the first time I’ve seen this technology on solar boats,” said Gérard d’Aboville, captain of PlanetSolar, a jury boat and guest of honor. It was open to the public.

“As the largest solar-powered boat in the world, PlanetSolar has its place alongside these smaller craft, which will one day be big. It’s fantastic to see this bright new generation bringing their knowledge to the development of this energy of the future.”

Information is available at www.solar1races.com or www.ycm.org.

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