Last weekend, May 11 – 12, our team, the TU Delft Solar Boat Team, had the first race of the Solar
Sport One 2018 competition. The first race was held in Akkrum, Friesland, and was the first of five
races in the competition. The goal of our team is to win the overall ranking of the Solar Sport One
The TU Delft Solar Boat 2018 finishing second during the Time Trial race – Paul Schellekens
On Thursday, May 10, our team packed the last things and we went to Akkrum by car. When we
arrived in Akkrum, we built up our campsite, prepared the strategy headquarters, did the last tests
for the boat and prepared the Support, Scout and PR cars for the race. The next day, May 11, the
Time Trial race took place. This race consisted of a 55 km route which had to be finished as fast as
possible. Our team started as the last boat of our class. Despite this late start, we overtook the
biggest part of our competitors very soon in the race, bringing us to a second position with only Clafis
Victron Energy ahead of us.
The TU Delft Solar Boat Team became #2 of the first race – Paul Schellekens
During the race, teamwork was essential. Our Support Crew had to be ahead of the boat at all times
in order to prepare themselves for pit-stops and check-ups. Our Scout Crews positioned themselves
ahead of the boat all the time in order to collect all the weather- and environmental data to provide
our Strategy Crew with the desired information. The Strategy Crew then used this data in
combination with the data of our boat to decide the optimal way of sailing to fit our strategy. Our
communicator Tim had to filter all the information into an easy and calm message for the pilot.
This teamwork resulted in our boat finishing second, behind Clafis Victron Energy. This result was
very exciting since we managed to perform so well, even though our team has had so little time
before the races with the new boat.
“The team ahead of us has not built a new boat for more than 4 years already, making their boat
optimal and their pilot more experienced. I am very proud that we came this close while our boat
and team is entirely new!” Team Manager Sjoerd Says.
The following day, the Endurance race called Rondje Akkrum and the Sprint were on the planning.
During Rondje Akkrum, we had to sail as many laps around Akkrum in just one hour. Again, we
managed to end up second, behind Clafis Victron Energy. This time, it was a very close call with
University of Twente Solar Boat Team, since they ended up with 1 less lap than we did!
The TU Delft Solar Boat Team overtaking Twente Solar Boat Team – Paul Schellekens
Lastly, the same day, the Sprint Race took place in Akkrum where we had to sail for 360 meters as
fast as possible. We finished in 52 seconds, as fourth, 2 seconds behind Dutch Solar Boat Team and 2
seconds behind University of Twente Solar Boat Team.
Our team is very proud of the result of this weekend’s race, since we became second in the overall
race. This result gave us even more motivation to work even harder to improve ourselves and the
boat for the next races.