Colton set to make waves in 2023 solar boat competition

With contribution from Colton Water and Power, CHS is ready to create its first solar boating team to compete in the 2023 Inland Solar Challenge at Yucaipa Regional Park


Courtesy Inland Solar Challenge

The Inland Solar Challenge is an annual event held at Yucaipa Regional Park each May. Colton will be competing for the first time in school history in 2023.

Students compete in three phases: sprint race, slalom race, and endurance race. They also create a PSA to present about the importance of resource conservation. (Daniel Hearon)

Colton,CA—In early May, 2023 Yucaipa Regional Park will host the annual Inland Solar Challenge, a solar boat race, and the Colton High Yellowjackets will be included in this competition.

Not only will Colton participate in this event, but will be sponsored by Colton Water and Power. The local utility company recently pledged a boat hull kit and an additional $3,500 to support boat construction.

“We wanted to provide the students in our community the opportunity to learn more about careers in support of water and energy conservation,” says Cecilia, Senior Water Conservation Specialist with Colton Water and Power.

The Inland Solar Challenge is a three day event in which teams race 16-foot solar power wooden boats. The challenge involves four main components: a sprint race, slalom race, endurance race, and the preparation and presentation of a public service announcement about resource conservation in the Inland Empire.

The donation from Colton Water and Power comes with no strings attached. “They only said that it would be nice of us if we put a Colton Water and Power sticker on the boat,” said STEAM shop teacher, and boat team adviser, Daniel Hearon.

Hearon will be putting out applications for students after approval at the ASB advisory meeting on September 22.

For the boating team, there will be many roles to fill. In addition to a boat captain, the team will need welding, graphic design, automotive, and STEAM students to put their skills to the test in the creation of a solar boat.

“It’s going to be kind of a group effort for the school. And we’re very excited to compete and see how we do,” said Hearon.