Back to the overview

The Elfstedentocht

For many years, this trip keeps the Dutch busy. Will it go on this year? Probably not (again)! Ice masters venture annually on meteorological predictions, but unfortunately the last time this event took place is now more than 17 years ago. Every year this nearly 200-kilometer ice-skating event, also known as the heroic “tour of tours”, is giving skating fever at least every year.

In Holland everybody knows this winter Eleven City Tour. But also the summer version on bicycles is gaining popularity and publicity. And there is also a new version since 2006. The DONG Energy Solar Challenge World Cup for Solar Powered Boats. It started as a one-time event, but due to growing enthusiasm from in- and outside the Netherlands it became a repeating event. The 5th edition will take place from June 28 to July 5, 2014.


How started the idea for an Elfstedentocht per solar-boat?

“In Australia they organize the World Solar Challenge on the road. In Friesland (a northern Province of Holland), this only can happen on the water!” Says Bouwe de Boer, employee of the province of Friesland/Leeuwarden City in 2005. Together with Professor Dr. Ockels (TU Delft) and Andries van Weperen (organizing office of Noordplan), several ideas were discussed. This results in a full version of a Elfstedentocht on water!

DONG-Energy-Solar-Challenge-SneekIn 2006 it started: the first edition of the Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge with 24 participants. After 6 days, being 24 hours on the water, 4 out of the 24 boats passed the finish line. The rest of the participants finished later. After the first race, the Solar Challenge made great innovative steps. In the second edition in 2008, 39 boats started and 24 teams finished within 24 hours. In 2010 the name was changed to DONG Energy Solar Challenge because of the new sponsor.

With 43 teams, the race of 2010 had a record number of participants. The race innovated and the stages were made longer. For the first time solar boats with hydrofoils joined the race, which made the boats significantly faster. In 2006, the fastest solar boat nearly took 17 hours over a distance of 200 kilometers, in 2010 this distance was done in less than 11.5 hours. And in 2012 it went even faster, 10 hours and 40 minutes. From mainly Dutch participants, the tour now has become more international and teams come from all over the world: Brazil, China, USA and many European countries. Now the event contains four classes: A Challenge, Challenge B, Top-class and V20-class.

More information can be found on:

Why are we telling this?
Apex Dynamics has sponsored a team with a very special and revolutionary open gear drive. As we say “Apex run faster!”, we also assume that through sponsoring this solar team will run faster. For competitive reasons, we cannot tell everything, but we will keep you informed!

Press release, Maart 5th 2014, Helmond