The young engineers from universities around the world – including Lausanne’s EPFL – accepted a challenge laid down by the Lausanne-based Hydros Foundation to build the fastest boat which consumes the least energy.
Participating teams were given a “starter kit”, including en engine and electric battery, and were challenged to design the most efficient boat using these same base materials.
The five-day HydroContest began on Wednesday with qualification races on Lake Geneva between the 13 teams from Switzerland, France, Brazil, Colombia, Australia and the Netherlands.
Various races will assess the teams’ boats in the categories of speed, design, technological creativity and communications, with trophies awarded to the most successful.
The HydroContest aims to help future engineering professionals, investors and decision-makers embrace the idea of environment-friendly transport.
“All the inventions gathered here open up extraordinary possibilities for the future of navigation,” said the director of the competition, Denis Horeau, during a media briefing.
"It’s extremely exciting."
The competition culminates on Sunday with a long-distance race in which boats must travel the furthest distance possible using the least energy.
The event is open for public viewing, with a spectator “village” created at Dorigny beach which includes a hydrofoil exhibition, giant screens and activities for children.
View the competition’s latest webzine here.