LAKE SKINNER, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The nation’s largest solar-powered boat competition wrapped up today with boats built and raced by students from Savanna High School in Anaheim and Glendora High School claiming the top awards at Metropolitan Water District’s 11th annual Solar Cup™.
The schools were among the 39 teams from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties participating in the seven-month program in which students build, equip and race the 16-foot, single-seat canoes powered only by the sun.
The Solar Cup 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 resources, resource management, conservation and alternative energy development.
Savanna High School captured first place in the veterans division and Glendora High took the top prize in the rookie division at the three-day competition at Metropolitan’s Lake Skinner in the Temecula Valley of southwestern Riverside County.
It was Savanna’s third Solar Cup crown. The team captured first place in the veterans division in 2011 and the rookie division in 2009. Savanna also was one of two Solar Cup teams this year to sport pink boats to raise breast cancer awareness, joining Long Beach Poly High School.
“The enthusiasm and camaraderie that have been on display at this year’s competition has been truly inspiring,” said Metropolitan director Michael Camacho, who represents the Inland Empire Utilities Agency on the MWD’s Board of Directors. “Over the last three days, these students have demonstrated they have absorbed the applied skills this competition fosters and cultivates.”
Metropolitan director Glen Peterson, who represents the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, said, “Throughout this experience, students have applied and refined their problem-solving abilities, while promoting the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship. Those skills will serve them well as they continue to complete their educations and start their careers.”
Teams completed a series of qualifying events Friday (May 17) supported by Metropolitan staff and a technical advisory team from Harvey Mudd and Occidental colleges to ensure boats met rules and were safe and seaworthy. Saturday (May 18) the teams attached solar-collection panels to the boats for two, 90-minute 1.4-kilometer endurance races.
Today, the heavy solar-collection panels were removed and, using solar energy stored in batteries, raced down a 200-meter stretch—like drag racing on water.
The 2013 Solar Cup program began last fall when Metropolitan’s member agencies announced their school sponsorships. Teams are sponsored by their local water agencies and other organizations to equip the crafts with solar panels, batteries, steering and related systems.
Metropolitan provided teams with identical kits of marine-grade plywood to build the hull. While all teams must build a new boat and equip it, returning teams were allowed to use equipment from previous boats.
Following are the trophies and awards presented today. Complete Solar Cup scores will be posted as soon as possible at Metropolitan’s Web site, mwdh2o.com.
Veteran Teams, Cities, sponsoring member/local agency:
First Place—Savanna High School, Anaheim, Anaheim Public Utilities
Hottest-Looking Boat—Temecula Valley School, Eastern Municipal Water District/Rancho California Water District
Rookie Division--Teams, Cities, sponsoring member/local agency:
First Place—Glendora High School, Three Valleys Municipal Water District
Hottest-Looking Boat—Chino High School, Inland Empire Utilities Agency/city of Chino
Bart Bezyack Memorial Spirit of Solar Cup Trophy [sportsmanship]—La Puente High School, Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
Teamwork Award—Anaheim High School, Anaheim Public Utilities
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties.The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.