Total Lubmarine is sponsoring teams of students from ENSM Le Havre and ENSM Marseille entering ‘HydroContest’, a race for ultra-efficient vessel prototypes. The competition was started in 2014 by the Swiss foundation ‘Hydros’ which aims to encourage technological innovation to meet the energy and environmental challenges facing the nautical and maritime industry. 26 teams from the marine engineering departments of universities around the world will gather by the shores of Lake Geneva in Lausanne for a week from 24 to 31 July to design, build and race prototype vessels.
ENSM Le Havre team, Hydro’s Ride and ENSM Marseille team Hydrotech are both entering the competition for the third year running.
The teams will compete in three different races, with prototypes designed to reflect the tasks carried out by real, life-size vessels in each race category. The first race will be for ‘passenger watercraft’, with prototypes required to carry a load of 20kg, while the second race will see prototypes loaded with 200kg weight to simulate transport of bulk cargoes. The final race will test prototypes’ endurance, reflecting the needs of vessels designed for personal/leisure watercraft.
All teams are supplied by the competition organiser with an identical battery, control board and electric motor, but can modify their prototypes or enter different prototypes for each race. The prototype models must conform to pre-set dimensions of 2.5mx2.5mx2m. Teams will compete not only to be the fastest, but for awards recognising innovation, eco-concept and communication – one of Hyrdros’ aims is to raise the awareness of maritime energy and environmental challenges.
Hydro’s Ride 2016 project team leader Camille said:
“Last year we had a single hull lined up to compete in all the race categories. This time, we are registered for two races – the cargo category, with a catamaran made of linen as part of a partnership with the School of Arts and Crafts in Lille. We will also enter the passenger category race, with a vessel made of thermoformed plastic. We are seeking to create the optimum balance of lightness, strength, speed and consumption. We have won the communication award two years running and hope to win it again!”
The Hydrotech team has won the technological innovation award in both 2014 and 2015 for the bulk cargo category. This year, it will enter a new version of its previously successful semi-submersible ‘torpedo’ connected to a planing hull via a foil. This design enables fast, stable travel through the water. The team is looking forward to defending its titles!