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Solar Splash Returns to Buffalo for Fifth Year

By Anthea Passmore

Buffalo, NY – Making waves in Buffalo this week is Solar Splash the world championships of solar boat design. This intercollegiate design and performance competition features over 22 schools reaching from California to Montreal.

Delaware Park is a hive of activity as the solar splash teams swarm around their boats. The teams industriously tweak and add finishing touches that they hope will give them the competitive advantage. Team spirits are high and there is a the air of heighten secrecy. The University of Arkansas team hopes that last years second place position can be improved upon. Eric Jones from Arkansas shares a few of the team's tactics.

"Last year, we had a pretty good set up," Jones said. "But we made some mistakes. We're not making those again this year. The main thing is not having any failures. We've tweaked some other things. We're going faster. I think we can do first if we do everything else right."

There are five on the water competitive events and the most anticipated by the teams is the sprint. Colin Thauvette from the Ecole Technologie Superier of Montreal explained why the sprint is their favourite.

"We were the world champions in 2003," Thauvette said. "We decided as a team to arrive first in the sprint."

However Eric Jones reminded everyone that they should watch out!

"We are fast in sprint," Jones said. "Let it be heard. We are really fast in sprints."

The solar splash competition now in its 12th year returns to Buffalo for an unprecedented 5th year. The Aquatic Adventure continues through Sunday and is being held at Hoyt Lake Delaware Park.