|Bryan Pilcher '06 cruises through the lake in Genesis' innovative solar-powered boat.
Genesis team perseveres after running into obstacle
Messiah College's Genesis solar racing team entered this year's Solar Splash in Buffalo, N.Y., with an innovative design and high expectations. After long hours of preparation, they felt confident that their unique solar array and custom-built parts would give them the competitive edge needed to contend for the championship.
That all changed, however, when the team suddenly faced an unlikely obstacle. After a day of qualifying heats, the boat's propeller struck a concrete block in the shallow lake, which cracked a main component that powers the boat. The team managed to run part of the endurance race the next day, but as they competed with Cedarville for first place, the cracked component failed completely and the boat drifted to a stop.
The damage was so extensive that the team agreed they couldn't finish. But they still had reasons for celebration. They received two design awards and finished in the top 10 (out of 19), despite missing an entire day of competition. Afterward, even though they could only watch as other teams passed them in the rankings, they decided to stay until the end of the events, cheering on other schools.
"The team realized that we were all in this together," says team leader Stephen Osborne '06. "We all stuck together and supported each other. And we're looking forward to trying again next year."
— Jonathan Vaitl ’06