‘Winning the World Championship feels fantastic'

| Michaela Nesvarova , Jelle Posthuma

Members of the UT community battle for victory each and every week. Last weekend was particularly busy for three of the UT student teams. The Green Team won the Shell Eco-Marathon as well as the Driver's World Championship, the Solar Boat Twente scored a fifth place in Monaco and the RoboTeam secured a shared fifth place in the robot football world championship.

Photo by: Ed Robinson

The Green Team Twente is coming home from London as the world champion. After claiming the first place at the Shell Eco Marathon (SEM) Europe, the UT students and their hydrogen car also won the Driver's World Championship, a race – which unlike the SEM – is all about speed not efficiency. And with the SEM Communications Award in their pocket, the Green Team is returning a triple winner.

‘It went really great,’ says Gidde Tuitert from the Green Team. ‘It’s difficult to say which of these three awards we are the most proud of. You of course go there for the SEM itself, but on the other hand you also want to be the world champion. Winning the Driver’s World Championship was like the cherry on top of the cake. It feels fantastic. It went better than expected.’

The Shell Eco Marathon was the ‘grand final’ of the Green Team Twente’s year. After the victories, it is now time to pass on the torch to the next year’s team members who will have to build a brand-new hydrogen fueled vehicle.

Solar Boat Twente

From the racetrack in London to the port of Monaco. Solar Boat Twente finished in fifth place during the Monaco Solar Boat Challenge, the world solar boat racing championship. The team aimed for a podium place. ‘We are nevertheless satisfied that our boat has finished all races without any problems,’ says team member Mark Heimgartner. ‘Blue Manta (the name of the boat, ed.) withstood the high waves and the salt water in Monaco. We have built a reliable boat within one year, which makes us proud. Yet there is also disappointment. Due to the many innovations on the Blue Manta, the test time was too short. We could have done better if we had more time.’

The students were given three competition disciplines during the Monaco Solar Boat Challenge: an endurance race on Friday and a slalom on Saturday and the championship race. In addition, there was a competition for the best tech talk. Within ten minutes, the teams had to share their innovations with the audience in a presentation that was judged by a jury. In the end, Solar Boat Twente came out on top and they received a prize of two thousand euros.

The team will sail the last race in Dordrecht in September. After this race, a new student team will start building their solar-powered boat.

RoboTeam Twente

On the other side of the world, in Sydney, RoboTeam Twente secured a shared fifth place in the small sized league of the RoboCup, the robot football world championship. ‘Overall we are very satisfied with the result,’ says team leader Rob Verbeek. ‘It's a small improvement on last year: when the RoboTeam became seventh. Our team played a little better every game. This was also seen by the organization, because we got the second place for the most improved team.’

The last game of the RoboTeam was lost 6-1 against MRL from Iran. ‘We played quite decent against them, but the opponent was just better. In the end, they finished third in the tournament. We are satisfied with our fifth place. In the competition RoboTeam is one of the youngest teams, there is still a lot to learn. The other, more experienced teams also helped us with that.’

Now that the tournament is finished, the team will be traveling in Australia for a few more days. The last game at the world championship was also the final challenge for the current RoboTeam. Next academic year a new team will start with fresh courage to prepare for the world championship in 2020, next year in Bordeaux.