WINCHESTER – The nation’s largest solar-powered boat competition finished today with students from Los Angeles and Orange counties earning top honors during the Metropolitan Water District’s 12th annual Solar Cup race in Winchester.
Students from Long Beach Poly High, Canyon High School in Anaheim and West Covina High School claimed the top awards during the competition. The schools were among the 40 teams representing the MWD’s 5,200-square-mile service area, which includes Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties, MWD spokesman Armando Acuna said.
Long Beach Poly and Canyon high school tied for first place in the veteran’s division — a first in the competition’s history — while West Covina High School took first place in the rookie division.
Seven hundred high school students participated in the three-day event that was held at MWD’s Lake Skinner in Winchester, which is located in the Temecula Valley area of southwestern Riverside County. The Solar Cup is a school-year long program during which students build, equip and race 16-foot single-seat canoes powered only by the sun, Acuna said.
The students spent the past seven months readying their hand-built crafts, constructed from kits consisting of batteries, drive trains, electrical systems, propellers, rudders and solar panels.
Randy Record, chairman of the MWD of Southern California board of directors, praised the students for their efforts.
”Those participating in Solar Cup 2014 displayed the hard work, skill and enthusiasm that is the hallmark of the program,” Record said. ”Over the last three days, these students have demonstrated they have learned the applied skills this competition fosters and cultivates.”