On Thursday, July 7, 38 teams in competition at the 9th Monaco Energy Boat Challenge completed their first contests on the sea, while ashore a full day conference, Energy Transition in Yachting: Opportunities and Limits, took place.
For all participants, be they engineers, exhibitors, or industry experts, it was down to business after the pomp and ceremony of the opening the day before on Yacht Club de Monaco’s top deck, a vessel that is on course for an eco-responsible future. YCM President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco made a point of touring the Paddocks and Village of this event, which he has supported since its launch in 2014. “A century after the first powerboat meetings in Monaco, we continue the adventure,” said YCM General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri. “We are perpetuating a long tradition of innovation. The collective ‘Monaco, Capital of Advanced Yachting’ umbrella brand is determined to remain a pioneer in this sector and support the industry in its transition.”
New Energies in Yachting
Renewable and alternative energy sources were the opening topics at the conference, covering a wide spectrum ranging from wind propulsion to batteries via hydrogen and solar power. The focus was very much on research and development to take stock of how these technologies have evolved and assess their potential for the future. Like computers, systems have become smaller, more powerful and more affordable. Challenges still remain in an increasingly competitive market. “The issue of speed when recharging is obviously a key factor … and batteries are heavy and expensive,” explains Rory Trahair, CEO of Vita.
YCM’s Vice-President Pierre Casiraghi, an experienced sailor and founder of Team Malizia, spoke at the Village before boarding Vita Yacht: “Over a 100 years ago the first powerboat races took place in Monaco. I think it’s important to have an event where the latest generation of eco-responsible boats and new propulsion systems can be developed and tested. Thanks to the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge, we can draw attention to the subject: people all over the world are here to compare how their boats perform against other teams. It boosts development of the sector and brings innovations that can then progress to the market.”
The adventurer Mike Horn concluded the debates: “We must stop comparing solutions and find out which is the best before making a decision. They are all good provided they meet the imperative objectives to combat climate change. To get there, there is no other option than for us all to work together. It’s too easy to procrastinate, to make excuses when it’s the sum of all those little things we don’t do that is leading us to disaster. Yachting, the shipyards and owners, have a tremendous opportunity to show us the way.”
For a view of the future alternatives, in photos videos and text, and the practical applications developed so far, visit https://webtv.monacocapitalyachting.com/energy-boat-challenge/conference/