The Hydrocontest is an annual international boating competition open to engineering schools around the world, which aims to promote energy efficiency in maritime transport, as well as to optimize and develop the boats of tomorrow.
At the 2017 edition event, teams from 23 schools competed. Each team was given the same battery, the same engine, and the same controller. Each boat had to fit into a box measuring 2.5 m x 2.5 m x 2m.
Fischer Connectors supported two Swiss engineering schools by providing connectors to fit their specific requirements: the team from EPFL and the HEIG-VD team (from the Canton of Vaud’s School of Management and Engineering, Haute École d’Ingénierie du Canton de Vaud), based in Yverdon.
Each team took part in three types of race:
The "light" boat category, representing recreational transport. In this race, each boat had to carry 20 kg. The HEIG-VD team, which used a foiler notable for being covered with canvas originally intended for ULMs, finished 3rd. This won them the innovation prize in the light boat category.
The “heavy” boat category, representing freight transport. In this race, each boat carried 200 kg. The HEIG-VD team, with its catamaran, made it to the last 16, finishing 5th; it was beaten by the EPFL team, which won the race.
The Long Distance Race – a one-hour race for which teams chose the boat they wanted, i.e. a heavy or light boat. Here, the goal was to cover the longest distance while saving the most battery, discharging it at the end of the race.
Based on their needs for reliability, ruggedness and sealing, Fischer Connectors provided the HEIG-VD team with connectors from the Fischer Core Brass and Fischer UltiMate™ Series, renowned for their ability to resist all kinds of external stresses encountered in the rough marine environment.
As expected, the connectors enhanced the boats’ performance and the HEIG-VD team was happy with them, particularly on account of their reliability. Using Fischer Connectors’ products enabled the team to save precious time, space and weight. They found the cable fastening system particularly effective and easy to use. Despite the seawater and various shocks encountered during the races, there were no signs of any mechanical defects, breakages or wear in the connectors.
In their view, several factors contributed to the high ranking that they achieved: “The push-pull system ensured that the electronics could be transferred from one boat to another simply and efficiently in mere seconds. This made it possible to equip the other boat for the following race in just a couple of minutes. Thanks to their ease of connection, the connectors eliminated any worries we’d had about sealing in the marine environment. Moreover, the connectors’ lightness enabled the weight of the light boat to be reduced by a third compared to last year”.
While HEIG-VD team members pit their expertise and ingenuity against their fellow Hydrocontest competitors in a challenging marine environment, our engineers strive to minimize space and weight and maximize performance to ensure our customers win whichever races they opt to compete in. We wish the HEIG-VD Hydrocontest team continued success in all of their endeavors.