At a ceremony held at the Royal Thames Yacht Club on Thursday 12th May, Gideon Goudsmit of African Cats BV was presented with the Royal Thames Mansura Trophy for the remarkable performance of the catamaran Green Motion, developed by the company in Durban SA.
The Trophy, which is presented by the Club in association with Bosch Engineering GmbH and supported by the RYA and Green-Blue, was inaugurated in 2007 and is the most prestigious international maritime award presented for the development of new forms of hybrid power. Eligible vessels must use at least two independent sources of propulsive power, and the final drive system must be electrical. For full details of the award and the rules for entry please click here
The revolutionary 'Green Motion' was the runaway winner in the Offshore division. Built in Durban, South Africa, by African Cats BV with very lightweight construction and an innovative propulsion system allowing batteries to be recharged while under sail, she completed a long and successful maiden voyage to Ijmuiden in the Netherlands via Cape Town, St Helena and the Azores in 2010.
The Awards Ceremony was held at the Clubhouse, 60 Knightsbridge SW1 on 12th May 2011 in the presence of the Deputy Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr. Dr Cyril Nemeth MBE JP, with the awards themselves being presented by Bernhard Bihr, President of Bosch Engineering, who said: 'I am very pleased to be here in this historic club presenting awards for forward looking projects and I congratulate African Cats BV on winning this year’s Mansura Trophy. Their Green Motion catamaran embodies all the innovative features and thinking that we as a company appreciate and strive to provide to all of our customers. I would also like to thank all the other entries which reflected the great strides being made in the marine industry to make propulsions systems more environmentally friendly.'
The German Ambassador was represented by Joachim, Baron von Marschall and the Ambassador of Thailand was represented by Mr Siripakorn Cheawsamoot. The Chief Executives of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers were present, as were representatives of Imperial College, London, the RYA, Green-Blue and the Royal Thames Yacht Club.
Receiving the award on behalf of his company, Mr Goudsmit said 'We are delighted that the Mansura Trophy Judges recognized the quality of our entry and the attractive combination of innovative features that is embodied in this new class of ocean-going catamarans for which we have a growing order book.'
The Inland division of the competition was won by 'The Loon' built by Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Company in Brechin, Ontario, Canada. This design of sturdy inland electric launch has undergone a long period of prototype development with the result that it has gained such a reputation throughout Canada and the USA that the builders are starting series production at a brand new facility at Rome NY in the United States with the active encouragement of the local authority.
Monte Gisborne, the Chief Executive of Tamarack, says that he and his partner Ray Hirani are grabbing this opportunity to raise awareness of the product in Europe and have shipped a 1:10 scale model of 'The Loon' from China to show what they have designed. The Judges were impressed by the rigorous development process and proven reliability of the design of this smooth and silent lake and river boat.
Full submissions for the 2010 competition include two craft of different sizes from Mermaid Cruises and Shipping Co. Ltd in Thailand, built by Electric Boats Thailand Ltd. Another, from Hybrid Marine of Sandown, Isle of Wight in the UK, is Chelonian representing a number of canal narrow boats which incorporate Hybrid Marine’s well proven propulsion system, while the same system is also found in the Offshore Division joint entry by Jeremy Rogers Ltd and Hybrid Marine of the 'Green Contessa' Calypso which had received a lot of attention in the British yachting press in 2010. Salterns Brokerage in Poole, Dorset entered the hybrid motor yacht Greenline 33 that was seen at the 2010 Southampton Show. Ian Rutter, by contrast, entered his immaculate Irene, a well known but always improving pleasure launch for use on the River Thames. Charly Teuscher from Vevey on Lake Geneva entered his hybrid launch SOLARLY.CH which, as reported in Electric Boat News for Autumn 2010, completed a record-breaking full circuit of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) using only solar power.
Jack Edwards, Chairman of Trustees for the Mansura Trophy, says 'Once again, we have seen a wide range of technically innovative and well-designed craft demonstrating the huge strides that are being made in the field of marine hybrid propulsion. The generous support of Bosch Engineering GmbH, part of the Bosch Group, has raised our profile in the marine industry to a new level and has enhanced the scope of the competition. While encouraging prototype development, this award recognises the real achievement of entrants whose vessels were in commission before 31st December 2010.'
The Royal Thames Mansura Trustees award the Royal Thames Mansura Medal to the organization that in their view has done most to advance the cause of hybrid propulsion during the competition period. This year the award is made to Agni Motors from Gandhi Dham in Gujarat, India for their development and marketing of the sophisticated DC motor pioneered by Cedric Lynch. These motors are now installed in all types of hybrid and straight electric craft, from speed record hydroplanes to tourist long tails in Thailand. Agni Motors continue the development of this design and will shortly announce higher power versions. Their Chief Executive, Arvind Rabadia is in London to receive the Medal.
Previous winners of the Trophy include the French-manufactured Lagoon 420 Hybrid sailing catamaran and EnviroBoat Developments from the UK. The inaugural Mansura Medal was awarded in 2008 to the British Electric Boat Association.