The Solar Cup is sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California in which 40+ High School teams build and race solar-powered boats. The 16-feet-long, single-seat boats are built from kits of marine-grade plywood supplied by the MWD. Teams equip the boats with steering, solar panels, batteries and motor systems not to exceed 450 pounds including skipper.
The seven month program includes a boat-building event and several workshops focusing on technical aspects such as drive trains, electrical systems, solar power collection and steering systems. The final event occurs May 16-19 (Thursday-Sunday) at Lake Skinner where teams participate in qualification, endurance and sprint events.
The Sprint Event is electric only and does not include solar panels. The purpose is to go as fast as possible on a straight line, 200 m course.