In Barcelona this week at the 2011 Global Clean Energy Conference José Manuel Entrecanales, chairman of the Spanish infrastructures and renewable energies company Acciona announced the participation of Javier Sanso in the 2012 Vendee Globe. The IMOCA Open 60 he will be sailing is the eighth in a line of such racing machines from the computers of Owen Clarke Design, maintaining their position as the most prolific designers in this class of the last decade.
The yacht, named Acciona 100% Eco-Powered is the first IMOCA 60 zero emissions ocean racing yacht, which is to say she will be racing the Vendee Globe without fossil fuels (diesel typically) of any kind aboard. Where an IMOCA 60 would normally have a diesel engine for auxiliary drive and power generation this has been designed out and replaced by an electric motor and batteries charged by a system of solar, wind and hydro-generators.
With her deck trench, keel stepped rig, and innovative structural engineering this radical vessel also breaks new ground in the IMOCA class as her OCD forebears have done before:
Kingfisher: first Open 60 with central ballast and the now familiar three forestay set up.
Ecover 2: first of the masthead Open 60’s and first to use halyard locks and a removable forestay
Temenos: first offshore race boat to be built with a significant % of Kevlar honeycomb core
Ecover3/Aviva: first Open 60 to be modelled at 1/3rd scale and to incorporate an interceptor system
Acciona 100% Eco-Powered is the result of collaboration and enormous effort of the Acciona project team, builders/suppliers and was again co-designed with American designer Clay Oliver along with the now familiar OCD team of associates; including UK based structural engineers SP Gurit. Michel Kermarec and Giorgio Provinciali (both BMW Oracle) provided the CFD muscle that saw a computer simulated analysis of the design run in parallel with the testing of six 1/7th scale and a 1/3rd scale tank test model overseen by Ian Campbell of the Wolfson Unit.
Acciona 100% Eco-Powered was built in New Zealand at Southern Ocean Marine, and arrived in Europe by cargo ship on August 18th. Her Lorima classic three spreader rig was stepped in Brest close to the loft of her sailmakers, Incidence. It was here that the yacht was inspected, tested and passed all IMOCA stability and powering requirements within weeks of her arrival and prior to delivery to the Mediterranean.
Early reports from skipper and project manager Michel Sampers are extremely positive with the yacht responsive and under control while hitting 32kts boat speed during the 1,500 mile delivery. This early testing phase included some demanding sailing in 40kts of headwind on the way too and through the Straits of Gibraltar which was achieved without any teething structural or mechanical problems.
Length: 18.28 m
Displacement: 8.2 t (IMOCA measurement with full Eco system and batteries onboard)
Righting moment: 31,800 kgm (class maximum, 32,000 kgm)
More information photographs and insight into the detail of this breakthrough boat and the systems developed by the team with the co-operation of the technical divisions of the Acciona Group is to follow.
For sailing video go to the Owen Clarke Facebook page at:
For information regarding Acciona go to: www.Acciona.com