Rookie Team Takes Early Lead Heading Into Three-Day Solar Cup

Solar Cup Boat Race

For the first time since the inaugural year of Metropolitan Water District’s annual Solar Cup competition 13 years ago, a rookie team of students from Huntington Beach’s Coast High School has seized the preliminary lead heading into the three-day solar-powered boat competition.

Today (May 15), solar-powered boats built and equipped by students on 41 high school teams from throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties (see following list) launched the nation’s largest solar-powered boat competition at Metropolitan’s Lake Skinner, just north of Temecula in southwest Riverside County.

Coast High—one of nine first-time Solar Cup participating schools—leads all teams by scoring 347 total points out of a possible 355 as boat qualifying begins. Coast recorded the highest rated public service message submittal with a perfect 250 points and tallied 44 out of 50 points for the team’s two technical progress reports, along with 55 points for meeting various competition deadlines.

Downey High School enters the competition as the highest rated veteran team with 339 total points, scoring 247 for its public service message project, 37 points for technical progress reports and 55 points for meeting deadlines.

After teams are put through a series of qualifying events today to ensure boats meet rules and are safe and seaworthy, Solar Cup Saturday (May 16) will feature single-seat, solar-powered 16-foot boats outfitted with solar-collection panels competing in endurance races around a 1-kilometer course in the morning and afternoon.

Sunday (May 17) is highlighted by 200-meter sprint races—in which the solar panels are removed and the boats are powered by solar energy stored in batteries. The races will be followed by an awards ceremony, with trophies awarded in veteran and rookie divisions for teams with the highest points, as well as to teams honored for “Hottest-Looking Boat,” teamwork and sportsmanship.

The races are easily visible from the shore, and the event is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission and parking. Lake Skinner is at 37701 Warren Road, Winchester, in the Temecula Valley of southwest Riverside County—about 10 miles northeast of the Rancho California Road exit off Interstate 15.

About 10,000 students have participated in Solar Cup since the inaugural event featured just eight boats in 2002. The program is a team-based educational competition that allows students to apply their skills in math, physics, engineering and communications, while learning about Southern California’s water sources, resource management, conservation and alternative energy development.

In addition to the racing, teams receive points for technical inspections, submissions of three technical reports and creation of a public service message project focusing on water conservation in the form of a 30- to 60-second, self-scripted and produced, conservation video, audiotape and/or brochure or related project. The theme of this year’s message element is “Don’t Waste Another Minute Wasting Water.”

The competition began last November as teams built identical hulls from kits supplied by Metropolitan. Students have since worked nights and weekends to maximize their boats’ endurance, speed and mechanical and electrical efficiencies. Over the past few months, working with their sponsoring Metropolitan member and local agencies, they have equipped the shells with solar panels, batteries, electrical systems, drive trains, propellers and rudders.

Along with the veterans division of returning high school teams, Solar Cup includes a rookie division for first-time teams. Teams also are divided into four regions—the Foothill, Central & Bay, Inland Empire and South Counties regions.

2015 Solar Cup™ Team List

Team/School NameCityMember Agency SponsorCo-Sponsor Agency
Academia AvanceLos AngelesLos Angeles Dept. of Water and Power
Anaheim High SchoolAnaheimAnaheim Public Utilities
Arcadia High SchoolArcadiaUpper San Gabriel Valley MWD
Burbank High School*BurbankBurbank Water & Power
Calabasas High SchoolCalabasasLas Virgenes MWD
California Academy of Math & ScienceCarsonWest Basin MWD
Chino High SchoolChinoInland Empire Utilities AgencyCity of Chino
Chino Hills High School*Chino HillsInland Empire Utilities AgencyCity of Chino Hills
Claremont High SchoolClaremontThree Valleys MWD
Coast High School*Huntington BeachMunicipal Water District of Orange CountyCity of Huntington Beach
Compton High SchoolComptonCity of Compton
David Gonzales SchoolCalabasasLas Virgenes MWD
Del Lago Academy*EscondidoSan Diego County Water Authority
Downey High SchoolDowneyCentral Basin MWD
Elsinore HS / Lakeside HSWildomarWestern MWDElsinore Valley MWD
Environmental Charter HSLawndaleWest Basin MWD
Franklin High SchoolLos AngelesLos Angeles Dept. of Water and Power
Fremont Academy of Engineering & DesignPomonaThree Valleys MWD
High Tech High North CountySan MarcosSan Diego County Water Authority
John Glenn High SchoolNorwalkCentral Basin MWD
John Muir High SchoolPasadenaPasadena Water & Power
La Cañada High SchoolLa Cañada FlintridgeFoothill MWDLa Cañada Irrigation District
Laguna Beach High SchoolLaguna BeachMunicipal Water District of Orange CountyLaguna Beach County Water District
Lennox Academy*LennoxWest Basin MWD
Long Beach Poly High SchoolLong BeachLong Beach Water Department
Los Osos High SchoolRancho CucamongaInland Empire Utilities AgencyCucamonga Valley Water District
McBride High School*Long BeachLong Beach Water Department
Moreno Valley USD TeamMoreno ValleyEastern MWDRancho California Water District
Mountain View High SchoolEl MonteUpper San Gabriel Valley MWD
Murrieta Valley USD /Perris Union High SD TeamMurrietaEastern MWDRancho California Water District
Norte Vista High SchoolRiversideWestern MWDRiverside Public Utilities
Nuview Bridge Early College HSNuevoEastern MWDRancho California Water District
Oak Park High SchoolOak ParkCalleguas MWD
Oxford Academy*CypressMunicipal Water District of Orange County
Paramount High School WestParamountCentral Basin MWD
Providence High SchoolBurbankBurbank Water & Power
Riverside Poly High School*RiversideWestern MWDRiverside Public Utilities
San Dimas High SchoolSan DimasThree Valleys MWD
Savanna High SchoolAnaheimAnaheim Public Utilities
West Covina High SchoolWest CovinaUpper San Gabriel Valley MWD
Western High School*AnaheimAnaheim Public Utilities

* Rookie Teams

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