7-8 December 2019

St Francis Bay lends the most excellent conditions for most water sports, and now also the Solar Boat Race. 

2019 will be the third year this event is held, with the intention of not only raising renewable energy awareness but of also encouraging new and innovative designs for harnessing and converting solar energy. 2018 saw 11 boats and 27 participants.

We invite you to join us in December 2019 at St Francis Bay. Get a team together and start building your solar boat to compete at the Solar Boat Race. 

Solar Boat Race 2018 turned out to be an interesting event with plenty sun and strong winds at the start of the race which even managed to capsize one boat (twice). Next year looks to be another great event with some aspects to make it more inclusive to the whole family (such as braai facilities and a division for school teams to participate).

Below are the lap times for 2018:

Screenshot 2018-11-18 at 15.09.36


  1. No energy storage devices to provide propulsion.
  2. Maximum of 4 commercially available solar panels (to be pre-approved by race organisers). Total maximum of 1280 W.
  3. Voltages may not exceed 50 V at any point in the system and during any sate of operation (to meet Safety Extra Low Voltage SELV as specified by SANS 10142-1:2012).
  4. The pilot’s view must not be hindered through a full 360 degrees.
  5. In the case of the pilot becoming separated from the craft, the craft must automatically de-power by means of electrical disconnection of the PV panels (kill switch).
  6. The power of the craft must be controllable by the pilot (can be on-off).
  7. No support boats will be allowed during the race. If a breakdown occurs, the race organisers will transport 2 support team members to their boat in order to assist with repairs. The damaged boat must be removed from the race course for the period of repair work.
  8. Only solar power generated onboard will provide propulsion power for the craft. Any craft caught being towed or assisted by other means will be disqualified (unless broken down).
  9. All team members must be at least 13 years of age.
  10. Pilots must be able to completely evacuate from the vessel within 10 seconds.

Design Considerations

  1. Sand banks could cause limitations on the practical draft of the craft and hence it is suggested to limit the draft to 600 mm.
  2. The race course includes bridges and so the maximum craft height above water level is suggested at 1500 mm.
  3. Water weed may cause fouling of rudders and propellers.
  4. In order to navigate the race course, a certain level of steering will be required.

Race Objective

To complete as many laps as possible within the 4 hour time period. Course direction and length may vary on race day depending on conditions.

See You in December

Please use contact details below for more information or to enter your team. 

  • 083 564 1986
  • sean@solarboatrace.co.za
  • St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape