The sun didn’t make an appearance at the 2019 Solar Boat Regatta, but eight teams still powered their engines across Round Lake on Saturday, May 18.

The Minnesota Renewable Energy Society’s (MRES) annual regatta was powered this year by teams’ batteries, said Doug Shoemaker of MRES. Although the weather was unseasonably chilly for late May, students and spectators showed up with high spirits for the event, he said, with no complaints about the weather to be heard.

“It blew my mind,” he said. “These teens show up from all over.”

There were two competitions — the school class and the experimental class. Both competed in three categories: speed race, slalom race and an hour-long endurance race.

In the school category, Orono Middle School’s boat, Yellow Fin, came in first place across all three races, City Academy High School came in second with their boat Sea Academy, and the Sudanese-American Community’s boat Kandake came in third.

In the experimental category, Orono High School took first place with its boat Interceptor. Orono Middle School took second in Make IT or Break IT and Scouts BSA Troop 330 took third place in their boat Last Shot.

The teams designed and created their own boats for the competition. There were also several demonstrations of engineering at the regatta, including a science talk from a 3M engineer and a demonstration of the features of a Tesla car.

Eden Teller is the multimedia reporter for Eden Prairie News. She's passionate about fostering productive conversations and empowering communities. When she's not reporting, she can be found reading a book, on a hike or tackling home improvement projects.

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