Monaco Energy Boat Challenge: the Yacht Club de Monaco welcomes AI for the 12th edition

MONACO, July 08, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As part of the ‘Monaco Capital of Advanced Yachting initiative’ the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge makes appointment for next year (2-5 July 2025) with exciting news. The 12th edition will see the debut of AI. “For 2025 we have many good ideas. For example, we introduced the Sea Lab class, which is a new class of boats closer to the industry and the customer. Then we decided to make room for AI. It is very important to manage a boat like this having some help as the one that you can get from artificial intelligence. We can take into consideration the sea, the wind, the wave, the distance and to be able to make evaluations is ideal with artificial intelligence. We started the Challenge with two boats and today we can be proud of what we’re doing because is the young generation that will build the yachting of the future,” said YCM general secretary Bernard d’Alessandri.

Introducing AI the Yacht Club de Monaco makes a step forward in the yachting of the future. “What we’re trying to do as the Yacht Club de Monaco is that we’re positioning ourselves as a demonstrator and facilitator of innovation. The AI class will be applicable to all other classes so all electrical units at the moment can be further developed to AI class boats and they can be racing in the normal classes and the AI classes after. Like this we cover the main 3 pillars: decarbonisation, digital ship operations and authonomy,” explained Szilard Czibere, YCM development manager in the sustainability division. “We called it AI class because it’s quite a broad topic. It’s spectacular when boats get to navigate without any driver intervention but, on the other hand, many system at a smaller level are already autonomous systems and are using AI to optimize their operations.”

The winner of the 11th edition was the Oceanos Team, National Technical University of Athens. Second place to the Croatian Adria Energy Boat team and third place to UniBoat from Università di Bologna. “Our team started in 2016. we started with a competition in Saint Tropez and then we stated competing in the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge. Today it’s a very special day for us because we won a prize that we’ve been trying for many years to win,” explained Oceanos team manager Konstantina Delioglu. “The competition was a real challenge for us. We managed to get the first place in all the challenges and the races. We had some issues in the beginning, we tried to solve them, we managed it and we had a great time. The weather was perfect, the team was perfect, we had a very good communication with the team, everything was perfect,” added Emilios Monos. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Sustainable Yachting Technology Award, launched by The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, was given out to the Politecnico di Milano team Physis Peb. The prize, being a grant of €25,000, was awarded for best technological solution in terms of energy efficiency and/or carbon reduction. The winner will now be able to present progress on their project at the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge for three years starting 2025. “From AI to recycling via a marriage of advanced technologies with simpler solutions, there were so many that grabbed the Jury’s attention,” said Alejandro Velez, Managing Director of UBS (Monaco) who presented their Innovation Prize to Sea Sakhti which also won the Design and Communication prizes. Regarding the SeaLab Class, it is dedicated to vessels that do not hold the standard European certifications, but offer an exciting glimpse into international design and engineering approaches.  

From an industry point of view, the event becomes more and more interesting as time goes by. “Our aim as a shipyard is to find more talents, more engineers to make sure that we will have more sustainable future for the yachting industry and that’s very important for us,” said Gilles Vernhet, head design of Oceanco. “For example fuel cells are really improving, new elements of those fuel cells are improving with the help of the students and it looks very promising for the future.”

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