They were supposed to have competed in the Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge with their boat, but the race was cancelled because of the corona pandemic. Instead, the TU Delft Solar Boat Team and other teams from the Netherlands organised another, smaller scale, race. Not in Monaco, but on the Ketelmeer in the Flevoland region. TU Delft TV reported on the race.
Apart from hydrofoils which lift the hull of the boat out of the water, this year’s design has a unique exterior surface. “The outside of the hydrofoils have a special sort of foil,” explains Chief Engineer Eva Smits. “It is a kind of sticker which has a relief that resembles the skin of sharks. We even call it shark skin. The foil reduces the friction on the hydrofoils by about 7%.”
Before the race, the boat went through some tests and passed successfully. The TU Delft Solar Boat Team were in good cheer when they started the competition, but unfortunately soon had to contend with issues. The engine cut out a few times and the front part of the left hydrofoil was damaged. “We lost by a very slim margin,” says Smits.” Despite the disappointment, she looks back at last year with her head held high. “I learned so much from the whole design and production process, the testing and design validation. I hadn’t expected it!”