South Shields firm helps to Solve students' competition challenges

A group of students are all at sea, thanks to South Shields-based Solar Solve Marine.
Work under way on the project.Work under way on the project.
Work under way on the project.

In mid-April, the firm was approached by Southampton Hydro Team, a group of students from the Universities of Southampton and Southampton Solent who are participating in the HydroContest.

The international competition, which takes place annually in Saint Tropez, is designed to promote co-operation in developing technology to reduce emissions caused by shipping.

The Southampton Hydro team.The Southampton Hydro team.
The Southampton Hydro team.
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After checking out the team website at, it was obvious to Solar Solve’s directors that the project was worth supporting and they immediately agreed to become an official sponsor.

The Hydro team will design, build and race two innovative composite-made energy efficient boats and bring never-before-seen technology to this year’s international HydroContest competition, organised by the Hydros Foundation.

Solar Solve chairman John Lightfoot MBE said: “As soon as I was contacted, I had a positive feeling about this project.

“However, when I read the sentence in the email that read ‘to support a team of young engineering students that are committed with the environment and ocean protection and building innovative composite-made boats (one with carbon fibre foils) would probably be of your interest’, I was hooked.

“My personal interest in this project is two-fold.

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“As a professional engineer, I try to support and encourage young people to enter the profession and I was especially pleased to see Southampton Hydro Teams usually include female engineers and students.

“The second coincidence is the innovative energy efficiency objectives of the project, which fall in line with one of the major benefits of using SOLASOLV products.

“The Team at Solar Solve are looking forward to working with Southampton Hydro Team to help them achieve their very admirable objectives and to create as much publicity for them as we can and in return they will promote Solar Solve’s logos on their boats.

“Naturally we wish them every success in the races in September and also with achieving their main objective of making some ground-breaking discoveries.”