The Dong Solar Energy Solar Challenge is the main world competition of solar powered boats and occurs every two
years. The first edition happened in2006, with the name of Frisian Solar Challenge. At that occasion, 24 vessels participated, sailing for 6 days the region of Friesland Province, in the Netherlands. The second edition came in 2008, with 39 vessels at the start and 24 crossing the finish line. Among them was a – still debutant – Solar Team Brazil, which arrived in the 4th place.
In 2010 the competition had the name changed to Dong Energy Solar Challenge because of the entry of the Dong Energy Company as a major sponsor of the event. That same year, the edition had 43 teams registered, and changed the paths of the race, further enhancing the route and level of difficulty. It was also the first edition involving boats with hydrofoils.
While most of the competition participants are Dutch, the number of countries represented in the
competition grows every time. In 2012 they already had competitors from the United States , China and several
European countries – as well as Brazil.
In the latest edition, in 2014, 40 teams participated at the championship. Among them, there were representatives from countries such as Poland, Indonesia, Bahrain, besides the traditional participants. This edition was special for being the first to have the competition route expanded out of the Friesland region. Vessels performed also by the Groningen region. As usual, the prototype proved to be innovative, further improving performance over previous editions.
The fastest solar boat completed all stages of competition with a total time of just over 7 hours – in contrast to more than 24 hours in the first edition. The average speed of the same boat was 28.7 km / h, surprising for this type of vessel.
The Solar Team Brazil is already preparing to participate to the next edition, in 2016, and intends to keep pace with
technological developments in competition, competing against the biggest and best solar boat teams in the world.