[Blog#4] Racing towards the boat launch

On the day this blog is published, the Boat Launch is only a week away, and the team is working harder than ever to finish off the boat.

Inspecting the gearwheels that power the propellor. (Photo: Redmer Aarnink)

It has been really fascinating to see how a team performs under such high levels of stress and for such long days. I installed a timer on the homepage of our website that is counting down until the Boat Launch on May 28. One of the main reasons I did this is to motivate the team. By constantly reminding everybody of the limited timeframe, they are motivated to give this project everything they’ve got. Designing and building a solar boat that needs to cross the ocean in just one year has been deemed an impossible task by many of the people we consulted. And doing the impossible means nothing less than working your ass off. With only ten days until the Boat Launch, the team is working harder than ever to make that deadline. We are working evening and night shifts, pushing our limits, and giving our all to make it possible.

There is nothing else I would want to do right now

It is not easy to find the limit when you are giving everything you have. Especially on an individual level, this can be quite different for each team member. Throughout the year, I learned that ‘giving your best’ is a very relative term that can mean working 40 hours in a week for team member A or 80 hours for team member B. And what is important to note is that this doesn’t mean that team member A is lazy or unproductive! It just means that physically or mentally, he or she can only work for 40 hours.

This is closely linked to the balance each team member has to find between hard work, leisure activities and rest. And how these three are balanced is different for everybody. Besides the hard work, it’s really important to have a chat, stay for a drink, and have fun with your team. It also means that we have to send someone home from time to time, because that team member is unproductive due to a lack of sleep.

One of the reasons why I am certain that we can finish this boat lies in the motivation of this team. Just this week, a team member asked me, ‘Wouldn’t you like to take a day, or more, off?’ And when I thought about it, something fascinating struck me. ‘No, there is nothing else I would want to do right now.’ And when I told this to the team, I found out that this is a very broadly shared mindset.

With this knowledge I can say with great certainty that we will work harder than ever before. To get that boat sailing. And to conquer the ocean.

On May 28 we shall have our Boat Launch in Rotterdam. Curious to see what our boat looks like? Claim your ticket at


Read the previous blogs:

Redmer Aarnink / Exposure manager Solar Boat Team 2019

Editor Redactie

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