World's Largest Solar Vessel Performs at the Sydney Olympics

SYDNEY, Australia, September 18, 2000 (ENS) - As spectators and athletes at the 2000 Olympic Games look out on Homebush Bay they will surely see a unique boat moving back and forth across the water in front of the Olympic venues.

The award winning Solar Sailor is the world's largest solar vessel and the first able to be totally powered by the wind and the sun.

The Solar Sailor carried visiting and domestic media on September 15 as they followed the Olympic flame across Sydney Harbour. With its low wash, low noise and low vibrations it provided ideal conditions for media as they recorded the historic event.


Solar Sailor passes in front of the Sydney Opera House (Photo courtesy Solar Sailor)
Trevor Robertson, CEO of Solar Sailor Holdings, was delighted the Solar Sailor had been selected to participate in the Olympic celebrations.

It has been a successful year for the Solar Sailor. In July, the vessel won the Innovation & Best New Marine Product/Service category at the inaugural Australian Marine Awards 2000.

In accepting the award, Robertson, said the vessel is one of Australia's true success stories.

"This is homegrown technology, designed and built in Australia which will revolutionise the way the world travels on water," Robertson said. "The interest in the Solar Sailor is incredible and we are fielding calls from across the globe from people who want to know more about her the export potential is untold."

Robertson has received substantial financial support from the Australian government. "The award is made even more satisfying because we have been able to keep the groundbreaking technology in Australia thanks to support from the federal government and a $1 million grant through the Australian Greenhouse Office."

Solar Sailor features mounted wings which harness the sun and the wind, and can be adjusted to adapt to the prevailing weather conditions at any given time.

Robertson said the solar wing will allow owners and operators to access the world's most environmentally sensitive waterways previously off limits to traditional craft which emit fossil fuels.

"This is the water transport of the future from small passenger craft to ocean-going liners, the technology can be adapted for all these uses and ultimately cost nothing to operate," he said.

Solar Sailor has begun commercial operations on Sydney Harbour and is available to the public for charter through Captain Cook Cruises.

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