During the summer of 2008 the first edition of Racing AEOLUS was organised in the Netherlands by ECN and the Foundation Wind Energy Events (WEE). The participants were European students who were challenged to design and build a Wind Powered Vehicle that could drive against the wind, powered by a rotor. It turned out to be possible and the results were amazing.
The challenge was not only to build the fastest vehicle but also to use the most modern materials and the latest wind technology. The designs varied from a horizontal axis to a vertical axis. But they all drove against the wind. Because of the high quality of the technology used, this event has proven its value for the development of wind technology.
Another vital aspect of the race was the solidarity and togetherness of the team members and universities from different European countries. During the whole week teams were learning from each other, even providing assistance to each other by improving their vehicle.
The publicity was enormous. Some teams even brought their own film crew for their national television. Several Dutch television stations covered the event and Dutch national television even dedicated an entire item of several minutes to the event on the national evening news at prime time.
In 2009 and 2010 another version of the race has taken place in Denmark. In 2011 the race will be organized by WEE in the Netherlands. The condition will be to cover the out-of-pocket costs, based on the costs made in 2008. The WEE organisation does everything in their power to cover the costs for 2011.
The teams will be able to race during a whole week during the last weekend the finals will be held. During the final weekend the sponsors will be invited to join the event and will be offered a night at a hotel in Den Helder. They have the opportunity to meet the students and their professors as well as giving a presentation of their own company.
The teams will stay at the Rugby Club at Den Helder and will be supplied with a fully organised week with three meals a day and a farewell party.