Born to Sail: Interview with SolarTeam Lindenborg

Born to sail is a range of interviews with people who love boating and sailing. The SolarTeam Lindenborg was interviewed in order to find out about their journey of building their own solar-powered carbon boat. They also shared their future plans about the Dutch Solar Challenge and how they met King Willem-Alexander.

Tell us what you do?

“We are the youngest team in the Netherlands that has built our own solar-powered carbon boat and participated in the Dutch Solar Challenge. We are proud to have this title. This year it is our third time participating at the Dutch Solar Challenge. Right now we are improving and modifying the boat from two years ago.”

Tell us about your team?

Jurre: “Daan and I joined the SolarTeam Lindenborg two years ago in order to help last year students from our school with building their first carbon boat. The idea was to make it light and fast. Together with them, we participated in the race, and later we decided to take over their boat and continue with the project. At the moment, there are five members in our team and we are all involved in every aspect of this project. In our free time from the building process, we are searching for sponsors.”

How long have you been doing this project?

“In the first half of the year, we had 5 hours of school time per week to spend on this project. Now we only have 3 hours per week to finish this project. However, we still do a lot of computer work in our own free time. The closer it gets to the race, the more it looks like a full-time project.”

What events will you participate in 2019?

“This year we are planning to participate from the 3rd till the 9th of July at the Dutch Solar Challenge. Also, we want to attend the Solar 1 Monte-Carlo Cup later this year. However, we still need to find sponsors for the new battery pack and we are missing details to upgrade our trailer. We know how to do it, but we can not do it without the money. Now we are working only on small things and searching for sponsors meanwhile.”

What was the most memorable experience for SolarTeam Lindenborg so far?

“The most memorable moment for both of us was when we were finishing building our first boat and we were faced with a huge problem. The event was a few days away and the boat was not finished. We slept for only one hour per day in order to be able to fix the problem in time before the race. One member of our team even had to sleep in the workshop area. It was a race against time. The last element was fixed just a few minutes before the boat examination by the jury. Our boat got accepted in the race and for us, it meant a lot to be able to participate at the Dutch Solar Challenge 2014.”

What are your plans for the future as a team?

“Next year will be our last year with this team. We want to continue our education at the university so we need to find new members and transfer all of our knowledge to them. There are always people at our school who want to be a part of this project, so we have high hopes.”

How did you meet King Willem-Alexander?

“It was at the opening of the EnTranCe, Energy Transition Center, at the Zernike complex in Groningen. We were invited because we are one of the few young Dutch teams that can build a solar-powered boat. We brought our boat with no idea about what was going to happen. At some point, King Willem-Alexander came to our stand and asked some very good and challenging technical questions. We took a picture together and shook hands. It was nice to get recognition and compliments from the Dutch King.”