Lining the edge of Lake Michigan, just outside downtown Milwaukee, the Summerfest grounds were the site of SOLAR SPLASH ’98. The event started Wednesday, June 17 with technical inspections and ended five days later with the announcement of the Collegiate World Champion. Eighteen teams from colleges and universties around the U.S. and Puerto Rico competed in five events: Technical Report, Visual Display, Qualifying, Endurance, and Sprints. The overall champion is based on the team that scores the highest total points from all five events. Awards were also given to the individual winners of each event.
The competition this year had several teams in the hunt for the overall victory, but in the end the University of South Carolina was crowned the SOLAR SPLASH Collegiate World Champion. South Carolina scored well in all five events, but their win in the Endurance event really gave them the edge they needed to beat out Columbia University and the University of Southern Maine.
The Sprint event produced some of the most exciting action of the competition. The Sprint Championship turned out to be the best heat of the day as the University of New Orleans barely edged out the University of Michigan for the win, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock finished a close third.
Overall it was a very exciting event that everyone, including the residents of Milwaukee, enjoyed. The beautiful, sunny and warm weather helped, but it was really the sportsmanship and competitive spirit of all the teams that made the event great.
Wednesday, June 17
SOLAR SPLASH ’98 Begins: Teams began to show up on Tuesday afternoon, but everything really got started first thing Wednesday morning with Registration and the start of Technical Inspections. Teams continued to arrive throughout the day and several teams got started on mechanical and electrical inspections. In all, 18 teams showed up to participate in this year’s competition.
The real excitement for the day was the swim test that is mandatory for all skippers. They had to complete a 30 yd swim and 1 min. of treading water in the cool waters of Lake Michigan. Luckily the weather was warm and sunny and nobody turned blue from the cold this year.
After inspections closed at 5 p.m. it was time to relax a little with some dinner and fun. The Annual Solar Splash Mixer is a chance for the teams and officials to get acquainted before the competition really begins. After dinner and a brief presentation 20 teams were formed by mixing up the members of all 18 teams. Each team was given identical bags of various items and the instructions to design and build something to do with transporting vehicles. The teams were given about 30 minutes to complete their projects. The projects were than judged on creativity, engineering principals, and use of materials. All the teams did a fantastic job coming up with all sorts of imaginative designs. The mixer closed out the activities for the day.
No awards were given for the top performers in the swim test, but we would like to congratulate them by announcing their names on the web site.
- Tony Schaner, Ottawa Hills Tech Prep – 25.92 seconds
- Aaron Tempel, University of South Carolina – 26.87 seconds
- Dirk Krause, U.S. Coast Guard Academy – 26.97 seconds
Thursday, June 18
Qualifying Begins: Several teams were ready to begin the qualification process first thing this morning. Luckily the bad weather held off, and by the end of the day we saw 17 of the 18 boats get into the water, and 9 of those completed qualifying.
All 18 boats have started inspections, and all but six have completed the process. There are several very strong boats and we are expecting a great competition. Boats must complete inspections and qualifying by tomorrow morning and the first round of the Sprint Event will be held in the afternoon.
Friday, June 19
Qualifying Ends and Sprints Begin: All 18 boats that arrived here in Milwaukee attempted to qualify; unfortunately only 17 completed qualifying and were cleared to compete. After the morning qualifying runs were completed the sprint course was set up and the first round of the Sprint Competition started at 1:00 in the afternoon. Fifteen of the 17 boats competing finished their runs with UNO topping the field with a 300 meter sprint time of 27.75. The only scary moment of the afternoon came when UCSB lost control of their boat and flipped, but the skipper was fine and the boat was not seriously damaged.
Saturday, June 20
Endurance Competition: All 17 boats were prepared to compete in the Endurance event, but only one would emerge the victor. The boat that could travel the farthest in the two-hour afternoon championship session would be crowned the Endurance winner. The combined distance in 2 two-hour sessions is the basis for overall points.
The weather started sunny for the morning sessions, but clouds started to roll in and stayed for most of the afternoon. The competition was very close with several boats running very well in both of their sessions, but in the end, the University of South Carolina was able to conserve enough power and finish strong traveling nearly 32 miles in four hours of running.
Sunday, June 21
Sprint Finals: The 1998 competition concluded with the final 3 rounds of the Sprint event. The weather was good and the water calm for most of the day. All of the boats performed very well, and there were some very close heats. UCSB was able to overcome the incident on Friday and performed very well, finishing 8th in the event. The best heat of the day was for the Sprint championship. All three boats were fast and ran great, but the University of New Orleans had the slight edge and won the championship by less than a second.
SOLAR SPLASH ’98 Ends: It was a fantastic competition, and all the teams showed both competitive spirit and outstanding sportsmanship. The moment of truth, the Overall World Collegiate Solar Boat Champion was awarded to the University of South Carolina. The competition was very close and the top five boats were separated by a total of 34.5 points (less than 4%).
|Boat #||Team||70m Sprint Time (s)||Maneuverability Time (s)||Attempts||Total Time (s)|
|8||University of Southern Maine||10.57||67.14||1||77.71|
|11||University of Arkansas, Little Rock||13.76||77.18||1||90.94|
|98||US Coast Guard Academy||10.55||89.37||2||99.92|
|5||University of South Carolina||18.04||88.73||1||106.77|
|76||University of California, Santa Barbara||14.07||99.31||2||113.38|
|2||Grand Valley State University||11.57||102.92||2||114.49|
|68||University of New Orleans||9.51||126.77||1||136.28|
|4||University of Turabo||21.63||116.50||1||138.13|
|37||Ottawa Hills Tech Prep||23.10||125.66||1||148.76|
|44||University of Maryland, Baltimore County||34.48||118.77||2||153.25|
|7||SUNY at Stony Brook||20.85||150.41||1||171.26|
|99||University of Michigan||9.64||178.52||1||188.16|
|51||McNeese State University||37.50||153.60||2||191.10|
|00||University of Arkansas, Little Rock||8.78||185.82||1||194.60|
|1||University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth||28.47||189.14||2||217.61|
Points are calculated by taking the best overall combined time, dividing it by the competitor’s time, and then multiplying it by 150. If a team required more than one attempt to complete qualifying their points were divided by the number of attempts.
|Boat #||Team||Morning Heat Distance (km)||Afternoon Heat Distance (km)||Total Distance (km)||Total Distance (mi)|
|5||University of South Carolina||25.38||25.55||50.93||31.64|
|11||University of Arkansas, Little Rock||24.50||24.15||48.65||30.23|
|98||US Coast Guard Academy||20.30||22.40||42.70||26.53|
|8||University of Southern Maine||21.70||17.85||39.55||24.58|
|2||Grand Valley State University||18.38||19.43||37.80||23.49|
|44||University of Maryland, Baltimore County||20.30||16.45||36.75||22.84|
|7||SUNY at Stony Brook||2.98||16.10||19.08||11.85|
|37||Ottawa Hills Tech Prep||16.63||14.88||31.50||19.57|
|4||University of Turabo||14.53||14.00||28.53||17.73|
|00||University of Arkansas, Little Rock||6.83||12.60||19.43||12.07|
|99||University of Michigan||11.90||12.43||24.33||15.12|
|68||University of New Orleans||11.38||11.20||22.58||14.03|
|51||McNeese State University||12.78||7.00||19.78||12.29|
|1||University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth||2.80||0.00||2.80||1.74|
|76||University of California, Santa Barbara||0.70||0.00||0.70||0.43|
The distance completed in the morning heat determined the heat order for the afternoon session. The top six boats moved into the championship heat, and the remaining boats were divided up between the two consolation heats. The order of finish in the championship round was South Carolina, Arkansas, and Marquette with Arkansas passing Marquette only seconds before time expired. Points were determined by taking the total distance from both heats, dividing it by the greatest distance traveled and multiplying by 400.
|Boat #||Team||Round 1 (s)||Round 2 (s)||Round 3 (s)||Round 4 (s)||Total Time
|68||University of New Orleans||27.75||BYE||26.78||26.56||53.34|
|99||University of Michigan||39.81||BYE||27.65||27.18||54.83|
|00||University of Arkansas, Little Rock||31.72||BYE||30.97||29.97||60.94|
|98||US Coast Guard Academy||38.75||BYE||37.23||**||75.98|
|8||University of Southern Maine||50.37||37.50||37.53||**||75.03|
|2||Grand Valley State University||44.00||BYE||43.41||**||87.41|
|76||University of California, Santa Barbara||156.77||43.94||43.75||**||87.69|
|5||University of South Carolina||50.41||BYE||44.68||**||95.09|
|37||Ottawa Hills Tech Prep||74.94||60.59||58.07||**||118.66|
|7||SUNY at Stony Brook||73.40||71.69||72.75||**||144.44|
|11||University of Arkansas, Little Rock||46.16||42.40||75.03||**||88.56|
|1||University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth||156.77||124.00||**||**||280.77|
|4||University of Turabo||79.53||77.41||**||**||156.94|
|44||University of Maryland, Baltimore County||124.03||119.00||**||**||243.03|
|51||McNeese State University||151.77||124.00||**||**||275.77|
|** – Eliminated in second or third round.|
The boats compete in heats of up to 3 boats. In the first round, the winner of each heat earns a bye for the second round. The remaining boats move to the second round, further progression is then based strictly on times. Five boats from the second round proceeded to the third round along with the heat winners from the first round. The top three boats from the third round go on to compete for the championship. Points were determined by taking the two best times from any of the rounds, dividing it by the boat’s two best times and multiplying by 300.
Solar Splash ’98 Overall Results
|Place||Boat #||Team||Tech Rpt
|Qualify 150 pts||Sprint 300 pts||Endur. 400 pts||Total Score 1000 pts|
|1||5||University of South Carolina||80.00||29.00||109.17||168.28||400.00||786.46|
|3||8||University of Southern Maine||50.00||41.00||150.00||213.27||310.65||764.93|
|4||98||US Coast Guard Academy||100.00||50.00||58.33||210.61||335.40||754.33|
|5||11||University of Arkansas, Little Rock||35.00||26.00||128.18||180.69||382.13||752.00|
|6||68||University of New Orleans||85.00||38.00||85.53||300.00||177.32||685.85|
|7||99||University of Michigan||95.00||44.00||61.95||291.85||191.07||683.86|
|8||2||Grand Valley State University||75.00||47.00||50.91||183.07||296.91||652.88|
|10||00||University of Arkansas, Little Rock||45.00||26.00||59.90||262.59||152.58||546.06|
|11||37||Ottawa Hills Tech Prep||30.00||35.00||78.36||134.86||247.42||525.64|
|12||44||University of Maryland, Baltimore County||15.00||17.00||38.03||65.84||288.66||424.53|
|13||4||University of Turabo||-15.00||0.00||84.39||101.96||224.05||395.41|
|14||7||SUNY at Stony Brook||20.00||0.00||68.06||110.79||149.83||348.68|
|15||76||University of California, Santa Barbara||75.00||14.00||51.40||182.48||5.50||328.39|
|16||51||McNeese State University||50.00||0.00||30.50||58.03||155.33||293.85|
|17||1||University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth||60.00||11.00||26.78||56.99||21.99||176.77|
List of Awards for SOLAR SPLASH ’98
World Collegiate Champion – University of South Carolina
First Place, 300 Meter Sprint – University of New Orleans
First Place, Solar Endurance – University of South Carolina
Best Technical Report – U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Fastest Qualifier – University of Southern Maine
Design Achievement – Marquette University
Second Place, Overall – Columbia University
Second Place, 300 Meter Sprint – University of Michigan
Second Place, Solar Endurance – University of Arkansas, Little Rock
Second Place, Technical Report – University of Michigan
Third Place, Overall – University of Southern Maine
Second Place, Qualifying – University of Arkansas, Little Rock
Third Place, Qualifying – University of South Carolina
Third Place, 300 Meter Sprint – University of Arkansas, Little Rock
Third Place, Solar Endurance – Marquette University
Third Place, Technical Report – Columbia University
Fourth Place, Overall – U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Fifth Place, Overall – University of Arkansas, Little Rock
Sportsmanship – U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Sportsmanship – Marquette University
Most Improved Team – University of New Orleans
Outstanding Solar System Design – Marquette University
Outstanding Electrical System Design – Columbia University
Best Visual Presentation – U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Outstanding Team Built Hull – Ottawa Hills Tech Prep
Outstanding Drive Train Design – University of New Orleans
Rookie Team with Highest Overall Score – SUNY, Stony Brook