Spanish Vendee Globe line honours contender

Jesus Renedo / Acciona
We look around the new Owen Clarke designed IMOCA 60 Acciona
With a strong participation in the Barcelona World Race, so Spain looks set to be fielding a potentially line honours-winning entry in the Vendee Globe for the first time. In the past just one Spanish sailor has completed the quadrennial singlehanded non-stop lap of the planet – the legendary solo sailor and former BOC Challenge competitor, Jose Ugarte back in 1992. In the 2000 race, superyacht skipper Javier ‘Bubi’ Sanso took part, but was forced to pull out with rudder damage. This time though Sanso, currently Spain’s most capped IMOCA 60 skipper (his CV also includes the first Barcelona World Race and three Transat Jacques Vabres on 60s), is back not just to deal with this unfinished business, but with a brand new state of the art boat in the form of Acciona, an Owen Clarke design (in conjunction with Clay Oliver) built by Southern Ocean Marine in New Zealand. Sanso’s sponsor Acciona is a giant Spanish company with 34,000 employees around the world and a diverse portfolio of businesses from building roads in South America to desalination plants in Australia to hospitals in Canada to a ferry company that operates between the south of Spain, the Canary Islands, the Balearics and Morocco. However, like Mike Golding’s sponsor Gamesa (another Spanish company), Acciona is also a serious global player in the renewable energy market. Hence why one of the principle features of the new IMOCA 60 is that she is fully ‘eco’, relying on solar, wind and water power to drive her electronics and hydraulics and carrying no fossil fuels. The only fuel - apart from wind, sun and water - is some hydrogren to run her fuel cell that in turn powers her electric engine – and these are only on board in order to fulfil IMOCA class rules. Typically Acciona