The Electric Boat Association promotes and encourages competitions and challenges.

The Great Ouse Challenge – 100.7 miles on one charge

The flotilla arriving at St Ives.

Over the 2015 August Bank holiday weekend, Les Fidler of Westview Marina Earith achieved his personal challenge of cruising from Bedford to Denver Sluice (then the return trip to Earith), a distance of over 100 miles on one charge. Annie, Les and Elaine Fidler’s 27ft cruiser has solar panels fitted to the roof to assist charging but the weather for most of the weekend included torrential rain and very little sun to be seen.

Prof Stephen Gull’s boat Siren cruised the the length of the River Great Ouse under electric power accompanied over shorter stages by Nick and Yvonne Goldring’s Silent Adventure, and Cllr Ian Jackson’s Ripple.

Les Fidler’s feat drew large crowds when passing through St Ives and a joyous, if noisy, welcome from the Town Crier. Well done Les for demonstrating how far you can travel in an electric boat on one charge – and well done to Graham Fidler, who supported his father by kayaking the whole distance to keep him company – in spite of getting absolutely soaked on the Monday!

Battery Power

July 1997 – A 24 hour Endurance Record was set by EBA members Pat and Paul Wagstaffe M.B.E. in their 29ft launch ‘Wagtail V’. Organised by EBA business member Thames Electric Launch Company, the record was established covering 116 miles in 24 hours on a single charge over a measured stretch of the River Thames near Goring.

July 2001 – Richard and Anne Leeson, EBA members, offered their classic 1899 Andrews river launch ‘Pike’ for an Endurance Record attempt.

Conducted in co-operation with the Guinness Book of Records, the record attempt was carried out over the same stretch of the Thames used in 1997 but this time the run lasted for 30 hours and covered 137 miles on a single charge.