Thanks for the invitation, I hope the New Born Class will be as successfull as the V5 :).
In my opinion the V5 is a very good entry class for our students (Technasium, VO), but for one year only. It would be great if they could improve this boat the next year, in a class more focussed on inventiveness and improvement than on matches. Starting from the V5-hull we’d love them to go wild on technical improvements concerning streamlining, steering, balancing, propulsion optimalisation and weight minimalisation etc, without making it a race for just the money (most expensive equipment wins). So basically the V5 would be the starting point, with it’s solar panels and motor (Power) and safety requirements, but the technical specifications would be set free. If they think a lower streamlined wind shield, adding wings to the sides, a rudder at the front or a hydrofoil at the outboard motor, let them build it! If they wanna remove the heavy parts from the solar panels and position them adjustable, use a different type of batteries on a trolley or attache the motor to the boat adjustable? Go for it! Even if they go as fas as adding foils to make it fly, why not let them design, build and test it?
In my opinion safety regulations would be most important, like still being able to get out of the driver’s seat in 5 seconds etc, but technical specifications would be less. The design-process would become more interesting and more challenging, the races would become somewhat less important (maybe only two a year?) and the costs would stay low, starting from a ‘second hand’ V5. This new class would not compete with the existing V5, but it would add a new challenging level to it, technically as well as environmentally :).
Christiaan de Leeuw
Technasium Helen Parkhurst, Almere