Prince Albert of Monaco: 'the future of the planet lies with the sea'

By Rachel Ingram | 08 Jul 2019 | Design, Technology

The 6th Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge at Yacht Club de Monaco shines a light on the future of boating

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* The 6th Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge at Yacht Club de Monaco

With sustainability at the forefront of conversations about the luxury industry, people are calling for more than token green initiatives, but changes from the ground up. This is what Yacht Club de Monaco aims to achieve with the Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge – a unique event that encourages green energy within yachting. Organised in partnership with the International Powerboating Federation (UIM) and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the sixth edition of the event (2 – 6 July 2019) saw researchers, academics and industry leaders come together on the French Riviera to showcase, and learn about, the latest innovations in yachting and energy.

An eye-opening exhibition of the future of boating, the latest technologies were showcased through a series of talks and races across three classes – solar, energy and offshore. Preceded over by HSH Prince Albert II, President of the Yacht Club de Monaco, the event is a positive sign of times to come.

“Recalling something my father said at the launch of the Club in 1953 that 'The future of Monaco lies in the sea', I would say that today it is the future of the whole planet that now lies with the sea,” The Prince of Monaco said. “At a time of radical technological change, with everything being called into question, it seems essential that the yachting sector does the same. The time for raising awareness must give way to action. It is with this aim in mind, in the wake of an innovation tradition dating back to the first powerboat meetings started in 1904, that we are organising the 6th Monaco Solar & energy Boat Challenge.”

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* HSH Prince Albert II (third from right) with key figures of the Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge

The concept of the competition was created by Marco Casiraghi, an engineer and member of the Yacht Club de Monaco who found himself increasingly frustrated by attitudes to boating. “A lot of technology exists but is not applied. Why? Sometimes it’s ignorance. Sometimes it’s the fact that brands continue to copy and paste, but there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity to save energy without losing any comfort,” he told Tempus. “My primary aim is to let the people, especially consumers, know that this technology exists and spread the word for a better world and a better future.”

In the three since its launch, the competition has gone from one class, solar, to three – energy, solar and offshore. This year, 34 teams of 14 nationalities battled it out on the water – a fact Casiraghi is particularly proud of. Winners included Anvera Elab (Italy), who picked up the Speed Test accolade after achieving an impressive 74.49 km/hr, beating the previous record set in 2016 of 49.10 km/hr; Wave ESTACA (France) who won the Energy Class; and New Nexus (Netherlands), who triumphed in the Solar Open Class. A full list of winners can be seen here.

Related: Experience island paradise without the plastics as Barbados announces landmark ban

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* The solar challenge at the 6th Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge at Yacht Club de Monaco

As well as educating students and consumers around the world, Casiraghi aims to demonstrate to brands and manufacturers that going electric doesn’t mean sacrificing on design or comfort. “In the offshore class, you’ll see there are boats that look exactly like the others, but they are electric,” he says. “In fact, sometimes you’re really improving your own comfort. Electric boats are silent with no vibrations, no sound and no smell, and they do not disturb nature.”

Discover more about the sustainable future of yachting and read our full interview with HSH Prince Albert II in the next edition of Tempus magazine, out on 1 August 2019.

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* HSH Prince Albert II – read our full interview in the next edition of Tempus magazine
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