The Netherlands is gearing up for the annual Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge, a 220km race by solar boats that links eleven cities via canals and lakes. It's based on the route of a historical ice skating race. Competitors may enter for free, but need to have the design of their craft scrutinised well prior to official acceptance. Three classes of vessel may participate: individual, two person and ‘everything else’. Of additional interest for this years race, commencing 26 June, is that the first Dutch fuel cell boat, will act as ‘chase boat’. The electrically powered craft, known as the Hydrogen Xperiance, will travel for three days without refuelling and is said to be silent, while emitting no noxious fumes. Renewable energy company, EcoFys, one of the developers, is considering marine applications for fuel cells, including canal boats. ::EcoFys, via Fuel Cell Today and Solar Navigator.