Solar Cup Boat Building and Racing Competition

Solar Cup is the world’s largest solar boat building and racing competition in the world! This innovative seven-month water education and environmentally sustainable technology program is funded by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and its member agencies including West Basin Municipal Water District.  The culminating solar boat racing event takes place on May 19-21, 2017, at Lake Skinner, Temecula!

2018 Solar Cup Team Sponsorship Applications are Available Now! 

Submission deadline is June 2, 2017.  Download this application form for further details.

    Solar Cup 2017 Boat Building and Racing Competition Coverage

    This year, West Basin is proud to sponsor the following four South Bay high schools with funding to purchase and install electrical and mechanical equipment for their boats:

    Solar Cup Racing Competition has concluded for the year!

    Solar Cup Sprint Races & Award Ceremony

    Sunday, May 21, 2017

    All teams remove the solar panels from their boats and rely on solar energy stored in their batteries to sprint down the 200-meter coarse for the fastest time during two sprint heats.  Palos Verdes High School averages a 55 second dash, Mira Costa High School does a 48 second sprint and Lennox Academy does a 45 second dash.  Riverside Poly takes first place with a 36 second sprint. 

    Lennox Academy takes the First Place Veteran Technical Report Award, Central & Bay Region.  And Mira Costa High School garners the Solar Cup First Place Rookie Division Trophy, in addition to multiple First Place Rookie Awards for Technical Reports, Public Service Announcement, Endurance Race, 200-Meter Sprint Race and the Hottest Looking Rookie Boat! Congratulations to all four West Basin Solar Cup Teams for your dedication and perserverance in this challenging water education and engineering program!

    (Team rankings are calculated from scores recieved for program participation, submitted technical reports, PSA project and race times.  Of 39 competing school teams, Environmental Charter High school takes 38th place, Palos Verdes High School claims 30th place, Lennox Academy secures 14th place and Mira Costa garners 10th place overall!)

    Sprint Races & Award Ceremony Photos

    West Basin Municipal Water District Press Release

    Metropolitan Water District Press Release


    Solar Cup Endurance Races

    Saturday, May 20, 2017

    West Basin's four high school teams put their 7-months of designing, mechanical engineering and electrical planning to the test today by launching their boats onto the water.  Relying on solar energy stored in their boat batteries and supplemented by sun beating down on their solar panels, teams attempted to complete as many laps around the 1.6 km course within two 90-minute race heats.  Mira Costa High School barely snuck into the first race heat by minutes as they quickly repaired a burned-out diode.  Lennox Academy  was temporarily knocked out of the race by a stick caught in their rudder and lost time as the vessel was towed back into the dock.  Palos Verdes High School got handicapped early on by a burned-out motor and will be attempting to get back into the races tomorrow with a generous motor loan from Los Osos High School. 

    By the end of the race day, Palos Verdes High School completed 8 laps, Environmental Charter High School completed 15 laps and Lennox Academy completed 19 laps.  Mira Costa High School completed 23 laps....not far behind Perris Union and Riverside Poly who tied for first place completed 25 laps! Great job today, West Basin Solar Cup Teams!

    Endurance Race Day Photos


    Qualifying Day

    Friday, May 19, 2017 - Lake Skinner, Temecula

    All 43 high school teams haul their vessels to the lakeside to demonstrate their design and enineering skills.  In order to qualify to compete in this weekend's racing events, each boat must manuver through a short endurance course test and dash to the end of the sprint lane.  39 teams qualify by the end of the day, including Environmental Charter High School which will compete in the endurance race, while Lennox Academy, Palos Verdes High School and Mira Costa High School will compete in both the endurance and sprint races this weekend.  Check out today's team photos below...

    Qualifying Day Team Photos


    Solar Cup Final Technical Inspection at Three Valleys Municipal Water District

    Saturday. May 6, 2017 - Claremont

    On this overcast and drizzly day, all Solar Cup teams haul their boats to the inspection site for a mandatory check of their electrical, mechanical and safety systems in preparation of the big main event in two weeks.

    Team Photos


    Rookie Team Engineer Advisor Campus Visit

    Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - Manhattan Beach

    As West Basin's rookie team, Mira Costa High School participates in an engineering advisor site visit to check on their boat engineering progress (...and they're doing GREAT!)

    Team Photos


    Solar Cup Technical Workshop at Occidental College

    Saturday, February 4, 2017 - Los Angeles

    Solar Cup team representatives visit the college campus, interact with college students who serve as technical resource folk for the Solar Cup program, and are immersed in the technology of motors, electric circuits and solar panels.  They also learn about the energy and water nexus and the current water supply issues facing the Southern California region.

    Team Workshop Photos


    Boat Building Workshop, Three Valleys Municipal Water District

    November 5-6, 2016 – Claremont

    Solar Cup student teams converged under a huge tent to assemble pre-cut wooden pieces into 16-foot hollow canoe hulls. Students sawed, screwed, nailed and glued into the afternoon, became familiar with terms such as “bow,” “stern,” “chines,” and “bulkhead,” then hauled their masterpieces back to school. Over the next 7 months, teams will install motors, propellers, drive shafts and solar panels to operate their boats. Click on the links below to view full photo albums of the event.