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 Name||City||Member Agency Sponsor||Co-Sponsor Agency|
|Academia Avance||Los Angeles||Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power|
|Anaheim High School||Anaheim||Anaheim Public Utilities|
|Arcadia High School||Arcadia||Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD|
|Burbank High School*||Burbank||Burbank Water & Power|
|Calabasas High School||Calabasas||Las Virgenes MWD|
|California Academy of Math & Science||Carson||West Basin MWD|
|Chino High School||Chino||Inland Empire Utilities Agency||City of Chino|
|Chino Hills High School*||Chino Hills||Inland Empire Utilities Agency||City of Chino Hills|
|Claremont High School||Claremont||Three Valleys MWD|
|Coast High School*||Huntington Beach||Municipal Water District of Orange County||City of Huntington Beach|
|Compton High School||Compton||City of Compton|
|David Gonzales School||Calabasas||Las Virgenes MWD|
|Del Lago Academy*||Escondido||San Diego County Water Authority|
|Downey High School||Downey||Central Basin MWD|
|Elsinore HS / Lakeside HS||Wildomar||Western MWD||Elsinore Valley MWD|
|Environmental Charter HS||Lawndale||West Basin MWD|
|Franklin High School||Los Angeles||Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power|
|Fremont Academy of Engineering & Design||Pomona||Three Valleys MWD|
|High Tech High North County||San Marcos||San Diego County Water Authority|
|John Glenn High School||Norwalk||Central Basin MWD|
|John Muir High School||Pasadena||Pasadena Water & Power|
|La Cañada High School||La Cañada Flintridge||Foothill MWD||La Cañada Irrigation District|
|Laguna Beach High School||Laguna Beach||Municipal Water District of Orange County||Laguna Beach County Water District|
|Lennox Academy*||Lennox||West Basin MWD|
|Long Beach Poly High School||Long Beach||Long Beach Water Department|
|Los Osos High School||Rancho Cucamonga||Inland Empire Utilities Agency||Cucamonga Valley Water District|
|McBride High School*||Long Beach||Long Beach Water Department|
|Moreno Valley USD Team||Moreno Valley||Eastern MWD||Rancho California Water District|
|Mountain View High School||El Monte||Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD|
|Murrieta Valley USD /Perris Union High SD Team||Murrieta||Eastern MWD||Rancho California Water District|
|Norte Vista High School||Riverside||Western MWD||Riverside Public Utilities|
|Nuview Bridge Early College HS||Nuevo||Eastern MWD||Rancho California Water District|
|Oak Park High School||Oak Park||Calleguas MWD|
|Oxford Academy*||Cypress||Municipal Water District of Orange County|
|Paramount High School West||Paramount||Central Basin MWD|
|Providence High School||Burbank||Burbank Water & Power|
|Riverside Poly High School*||Riverside||Western MWD||Riverside Public Utilities|
|San Dimas High School||San Dimas||Three Valleys MWD|
|Savanna High School||Anaheim||Anaheim Public Utilities|
|West Covina High School||West Covina||Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD|
|Western High School*||Anaheim||Anaheim Public Utilities|
* Rookie Teams