New ecological engineering competition launched

A new international competition recognising innovation in the design, development and operation of marine vessels with hybrid or all-electric propulsion systems has today been launched by the Royal Thames Yacht Club.

The initiative is supported by the Royal Yachting Association and The Green Blue, and hopes to highlight the use of sustainable power sources and publicise the ecological possibilities offered by hybrid propulsion in the marine environment.

The competition will be run annually and the primary qualification is for cruising vessels of any nationality with an overall length not exceeding 122 metres (400ft). The Judges will be looking for significant advances in the application of hybrid power, the ability to make extended passages without recourse to frequent charging from land-based sources, and silent running characteristics. Success is likely to flow from novel energy generation and storage, improvements in enviromental performance and pollution reduction and demonstrable advances in endurance, noise reduction and eco-friendliness.

The winner, announced each January, will receive the Mansura Perpetual Challenge Trophy, a striking bronze sculpture depicting the tiller detail of the 1912 hybrid motor yachtMansura.(pictured)

A panel of Judges has been appointed and will be chaired by David Arnold, a Master Mariner and experienced sailing and motor yachtsman. He will be assisted by Yachting Monthly’s head of electronic media, Kim Hollamby, and several other industry figures.

An early pioneer in electrical engineering and the automotive retail business, in 1912 Jack Delmar-Morgan created a motor yacht that was unique. His yacht Mansura was designed to run selectively under petrol, electric or sail power alone or under any combination of these sources. The petrol engine could be started electrically and the yacht was equipped with electric lighting, cooking and water heating systems. The hybrid power train delivered 9 knots under petrol power, between 5 and 8 knots under electric power and 11 knots under both but just as impressive was the silent running and ease of her operation and manoeuvrability.

For further information on the Mansura Trophy competition and entry details visit the dedicated website at