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Cedarville professor Dr. Mark Caleb Smith on a television newscast.

Back-to-Back World Titles for Solar Boat Team

by Mark D. Weinstein, Executive Director of Public Relations

For the second consecutive year, Cedarville University’s solar splash team was crowned world champions at the 22nd annual World Solar Splash competition. The event was held June 15-19 at Dayton’s Eastwood MetroPark.  

Cedarville has now won nine of the past 13 World Solar Splash championships, making it the most decorated team in Solar Splash history.
Cedarville scored 909 points (out of 1,000) to claim the title, followed by Middle Tennessee State University (772 points), and the University of South Carolina (695). The University of Dayton (383) placed 11th.

Cedarville’s team won three of the four on-the-water events: slalom, sprint, and endurance. Middle Tennessee State University won the qualifying round, followed by Cedarville. In the slalom, Cedarville’s :47.3 time set a course record.
“The slalom time was the very best I’ve ever seen at the World Solar Splash,” said Tim Dewhurst, Ph.D., senior professor of mechanical engineering at Cedarville University and organizer of the event in Dayton.
Although Cedarville won by a comfortable margin, the victory wasn’t without incident and cause for adjustments. The team experienced two major setbacks—the ripping of its sprint motor out of the transform, and the flooding of its boat that impacted some electronics.
With limited time to make repairs, Cedarville’s students purchased scrap metal from ALRO in Dayton and quickly made a plate to fix the issue.
The flooding issue wasn’t realized until the third day of competition, just prior to the endurance heat. The student-led team developed a plan to bypass most of the electronics and was able to get its boat in the lake 15 minutes after the start of the race. Still, Cedarville had the best endurance time.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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