Registration for world's biggest solar powered boat race opens




Registration for the Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge has opened. The world's biggest solar powered boat race is being held from 26 June to 1 July 2006 in the Netherlands. The Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge invites the business community and students from all over the world to complete the six stages of the racecourse as fast as possible in a self-built boat. The only fuel they are allowed to use is solar energy. If you think you are up to the challenge, sign up with your fellow-students as soon as possible.   There is a limit to the number of available starting positions. 


The Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge combines the development of sustainable energy with the route of the famous Frisian Eleven Cities ice skating race. All eleven cities in water-rich Friesland are connected together via rivers, lakes, canals and waterways. At this part of the site you will find background information about the significance of the eleven cities race, sustainable energy and Friesland as a water sports region. Information is also given about the board of Stichting Sinneboatrace Fryslân, which is organising the solar-powered boat race.


The Queen's Commissioner for Friesland, Ed Nijpels, gave the official green light to register for the Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge, the world's biggest solar-powered boat race, on Friday 13 May in Sneek. The Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge is being held from 26 June to 1 July 2006. A maximum of fifty self-built solar-powered boats will be completing the route of the famous Frisian Eleven Cities race as quickly as possible in six stages.

A taste of what's in store was given on 13 May in Sneek. Five solar-powered boats competed at the foot of the historic Waterpoort in a demonstration race. The winner was the fast boat of the student team of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). Prior to the race the organizers of the Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge announced at a press conference that power company Nuon has agreed to be the event's main sponsor. Other important sponsors include the Province of Fryslân and the companies The Sun Factory and Sharp, which are providing the competitors with the solar panels. During the next few months hundreds of specialized companies and educational institutes all over the world will be invited to take part in the Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge. The competitors will complete the 220 kilometre route in boats they have designed themselves and which are propelled exclusively by solar power. The teams will be spending the nights at the locations of the course stages along the route. The arrival of the solar-powered boat fleet at each stage location will be celebrated with various festivities.





The event will start on 26 June 2006 in the Frisian capital of Leeuwarden where the race will also finish on 1 July. Over those six days, the entrants will cover 220 km following the traditional route of the skating 11-city race as far as possible. Here you will find information about the competition and the organisation of the Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge, such as the route showing the obstacles, the official regulations and the registration procedure. The competition is open to teams of universities and specialised companies. A team of experts will monitor the construction of the solar-powered boats and ultimate decide whether the teams can actually take part in the race. Given under 'Registration' is how the entrants can earn the start ticket.







What can you expect if you turn up at the starting line in a self-built boat in 2006? One thing is for sure: the 220 kilometre race will drive the competitors to the utmost limits of their endurance. The route follows the course of the famous Frisian Eleven Cities race over rivers, canals and lakes. Many obstacles and bottlenecks have to be overcome along the way. 

After each stage of the race the competitors will be able to stay the night at a specially laid out camping site in the town of arrival. The arrival of the Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge fleet at each stage's finishing line will be celebrated in the evenings with various festivities. 

The Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge is still a year away, and that seems like a long time. But the organisers want to give the competitors plenty of time to build the best possible boat. The idea is for educational institutes to include the building of the solar powered boat in their study programme for 2005-2006. All competitors can call on the assistance of Professor Wubbo J.


Ockels and his team at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft).  A student team of TU Delft led by Wubbo Ockels won the World Solar Challenge 2003 in Australia with Nuna 2, the world's fastest solar powered racing car. 

In just under a year Wubbo Ockels will decide which boats are to be admitted to the Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge. The organisers will together with the sponsors Sharp and The Sun Factory then provide the competing teams with the solar panels, free of charge.


If this has inspired your educational institute to rise to the challenge, lose no time in completing the registration form (see .pdf link below) and sending it to Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge, P.O. Box 2567, 8901 AB Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.   You can also fax the form the organisers.

  Application Form


Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge
Postbus/P.O.Box 2567
8901 AB Leeuwarden
The Netherlands

T: (+31) 58 2137888
F: (+31) 58 2131723








The race is open to three classes of vessel:
A. one-person vessels
B. two-person vessels
C. open class.

The following requirements apply to class A:
Maximum length: 6 metres. Maximum width: 2.4 metres. Maximum height above the waterline is 1.5 metres. Maximum weight excluding crew and solar panels but including batteries and the securing structure for the solar panels: 100 kg.

The following requirements apply to class B:
Maximum length: 8 metres. Maximum width: 2.6 metres. Maximum height above the waterline is 2.0 metres. Maximum weight excluding crew and solar panels but including batteries and the securing structure for the solar panels: 150 kg.

The following requirements have been set for the Open Class:
Maximum length: 8 metres. Maximum width: 2.6 metres. Maximum height above the waterline: 2.0 metres. The maximum weight for vessels in the open class is not prescribed.

A maximum draft of 80 centimetres applies to all vessels.
The only source of power for the vessels are solar panels. Use of wind power or energy generated by man or animal is not permitted. The installed capacity of the solar panels for a single-handed vessel must not exceed 750 watts peak output. The peak output for a two-handed vessel must not exceed 1000 watts. The output will be ascertained using a comparison with a calibrated solar panel.

Entry to the race is open to teams comprising at least 4 people. All team members may act alternately as skipper or crew. However a skipper must be at least 14 years of age. Skippers and crew shall be deemed to have a minimum weight of 70kg during the race. Skippers and crew will be weighed. Before the competition begins, the team must take part in a qualification test. The test is intended to assess the operational suitability of the vessels. The results will be used to evaluate safety, manoeuvrability, control and the qualification time. A special course must be sailed.

The team will have access to the vessels from 07.00 in the morning on competition days. A briefing will be organised at 08.00 at which at least one team member must be present. The vessels may be moved from the harbour or dock to the start line from 08.30. The start time will be 09.00. The starting order on the first day of the race will be based on the qualification results. On subsequent days, the starting order will be based on the finishing places of the previous day. The start will be at 1-minute intervals.







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