The race around Wye Island was again dominated by Torqeedo outboards. For the third time in succession, all the winners in this competition held in Chesapeake Bay on the US East Coast were powered by motors from the leader in electric propulsion.
The "Wye Island Electric Boat Challenge", which was held for the 14th time in St. Michaels, Maryland, in October, is one of the highlights of the season. The distance is 24 miles and the challenge is to maintain a consistently high speed over the entire course in sometimes difficult conditions. Not everyone makes it to the finish line – but all participating Torqeedos completed the course, as they did in previous years.
The boats are divided into the following categories: monohulls with lead batteries, monohulls with lithium batteries and monohulls in the "extreme class", where any type of battery or fuel cell is allowed.
In the first category – monohull/lead battery – Jim Campbell recorded a personal best time of 2:17 h over the competition distance of 38.6 km / 24 miles in his 6.10 meter-long Old Town Canoe with a Cruise 4.0 T. This meant nobody could take 1st place from him.
The second category – monohull/lithium battery – was headed by Jay Bliss, who took first place with a time of 2:48 h in his boat with a Cruise 4.0 R.
And not just one but two Torqeedos made it onto the winners' rostrum in the "extreme class". Ned Farinholt won the race clearly in just 2:08 h in his 5.8 meter Speedster thanks to his Twin Cruise 4.0 R.
"The Wye Island Race involves participating boats having to cope with sometimes really difficult conditions. Even when the weather plays along, there are many yachts moving about the bay sometimes causing considerable stern wake," explains Tom Hesselink, one of the event organisers. And he adds, "I'd certainly love to see every boat reaching the finish line but unfortunately there are a couple of participants each year who don't make it. That shows just what a challenge the race is and will remain. Some participants come to make a real race of it while others just want to show that their boat and an electric motor can cover a distance of 24 miles."
In addition to the winners relying on their Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 motors, all other participants with Torqeedo outboards (Travel 1003, Cruise 2.0) crossed the Wye Island Challenge finish line, proving impressively once more that the drives from world leader Torqeedo simply lead the way. The high-tech motors combined with state-of-the-art lithium batteries continue to give Torqeedo drives an unassailable lead – and not just for this race. The range of drive systems – multiple winners of all major innovation awards – covers the spectrum from 1 to 80 HP equivalents and are no longer simply a "green alternative". On the contrary, for many boat owners they represent a powerful option that besides environmental aspects also offers speed, efficiency and additional benefits.