The battery is empty. The race is over… 15-07-2012

The battery is empty. The race is over…

Friday evening we left Dokkum with the boat ready for the races on Saturday. The only thing that should be done was charging. To race a long race as the first leg from Dokkum to Leeuwarden a full battery is a must!

The start in Dokkum went well. The race went trough the small village of Burdaard passing a lot of small yachts. Although the busy waterway our helmsman Wouter was able keep speed as high as possible.

Very close to the finish our battery was almost discharged. The voltage that could be delivered to the engine was low but although a few expected dropouts due to voltage issues we managed to finish within a reasonable time. The team was positive about the result. After the finish the sun was strong enough to recharge just enough for the sprint!

A lot of people where gathering in the centre of Leeuwarden during the preparation of the sprint to the final finish. We where told that a lot of Vripack colleagues where present. The expectations where high!

The start went great but as if there is a curse upon the VripackSolar project something happened in the first kilometer. The chain ran of the sprockets from the engine to the propeller shaft...

Wouter had to wait for at least a few minutes before someone was there to help him. A very quick action from Wouter and Joost made the boat ready again to continue the race. Wouter was able to pass a few slower boats in the last kilometers before the finish but in general the battle was lost.

At this moment we can conclude that this year was a year that many teams had problems with their material. Was it due to the weather? The higher powers that could be delivered by the batteries? Or just bad luck?

Could we done better? With a ninth place in the over all ranking we think we could.

But we also learned. We have overcome major disappointments. We fixed the problems that came at our path. Although the bad weather we kept working as a team at a very professional level. And last but not least we had a lot of media attention!

The whole project was made possible by Vripack and WhisperPower. We would like to thank them for this very valuable week. From here the only way is up!