XOF1 First Solar Power Skiing
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Uploaded on May 15, 2010
On April 12th 2010, XOF1 and Jim White made history with the first ever Solar Power Skiing. The event took place over the frozen arctic ocean.
The team arrived in Tuktoyaktuk a few days earlier from Inuvik by crossing the longest continuous Ice Road in the world. It was a long arduous 190km (118 miles), 9.5 hour drive. The batteries were depleted upon arrival.
The next day, April 11th, the weather forecast called for sunny and clear skies but instead it was overcast. By the end of the day the batteries were only charged to about 45% - not enough for a return trip. On April 12th, the weather forecast predicted sunny clear weather; however, it was overcast in the morning. Later in the afternoon, skies cleared and the batteries were full by 5pm. While XOF1 batteries were being charged by the arctic sun, Jim White took the opportunity for some fun on the ice with a borrowed pair of skis and a kite he brought from home.
During dinner at the E.Grubens Transport Camp site, the team was excited to have a full battery to take on an unscheduled return trip on the ice road, thus further increasing the world distance record for an electric car on an ice road. A conversation about Jim kite skiing as a joke gravitated towards Jim skiing behind the solar car. It was all so spontaneous. It didn't take long before it became a huge event. (As big as it could get in such remote and isolated place.) Everyone at the camp was involved - even the camp supervisor joined us on the ice road.
Trucks - snow mobiles - XOF1 with Marcelo behind the wheels - Lydia on the back of a snow mobile with camera in hand to capture all the action - a borrowed piece of rope was added to the tow rope - the sky was clear and the sun was low in the horizon. It couldn't have been a better setting. Jim yelled "hit it" the solar car started slowly at first. As Jim, yelled "faster faster," it sped up inspired by the sun and motivated by the environment. XOF1 did some donuts on the ice road to celebrate.
All this driving on the ice road reduced the battery down to 85% capacity. The next day the weather was heavily overcast in the morning and combined with a late departure, the team didn't have enough energy for a return trip....stay tuned for an upcoming Ice Challenge documentary with the full story.
XOF1 solar car is still driving and with every turn of the wheel is setting a new world distance record. XOF1 is making plans for a trip from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego.
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