Solar power conquers the MiniTransat 2017

Solar power conquers the MiniTransat 2017


October 1st, La Rochelle, that’s when and where the 2017 MiniTransat will begin. The 81 best sailors in the world will compete against each other on a 6.50 m boat without assistance and communication. As usual the race will be sailed in two legs, the first one from La Rochelle to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is 1350 miles long and will approximately take 7 to 10 days.

The second leg is 2700 miles long and starts from Las Palmas in early November, the expected travel time to reach Le Marin in Martinique is 15 to 20 days. 

In this edition there will be many Italians, among them Ambrogio Beccaria, Andrea Pendibene and Matteo Rusticali with their boats Alla Grande, Pegaso and Spot.

The three of them share a common choice, the solar panels, manufactured by the Italian company Solbian.

Energy on board is necessary to power all the instruments and especially the autopilot, thus photovoltaics represents a valid choice that more and more sailors decide to make. On racing boats like those competing in the MiniTransat it’s also especially important to reduce the weight to a minimum without compromising the efficiency, that’s why flexible, lightweight solar panels are an ideal solution. 

Ambrogio Beccaria, has been one of the first to complete the 1000 miles qualification sail in Atlantic relying only on solar panels. Equipped with two 80W modules on the stern, installed on an adjustable carbon fiber support, and two 50W panels for the daytime use.

Solar panels are going to be his main source of energy, Ambrogio in fact will only have an emergency electric generator, thus the solar modules will mainly power the automatic pilot and other onboard equipment.

Another navigator who chose solar energy for this MiniTransat is Andrea Pendibene, engineer with a great interest towards technology applied to sports, he found in the panels of the ALLinONE series the right solution to his needs.

He will move the solar modules on the deck, stern and guardrail wires to maximize the results in terms of power, versatility and ease of use.

On a mini, specifically on Pegaso, the instruments are Vhf, Ais, GPS and the navigation light of course, but the core of the whole boat is certainly the automatic pilot, therefore when you are alone on a 6.50m vessel if you want to run fast, energy is a must!

Like all the others, Matteo Rusticali as well needs power for the autopilot and the other instruments, thus the choice to install photovoltaic modules on Spot. Solar panels are certainly one of the best solutions and they are going to be the main source of energy on his boat: two 70W panels on an adjustable support to follow the Sun all day long.

1st October is the date to remember, to follow the start of the first leg of this 2017 MiniTransat. 

Design: Tembo