Acciona - design development

Jesus Renedo / Acciona
Designer Merfyn Owen tells us of the design effort that went into Javier Sanso's new IMOCA 60
This article follows on from our look at Javier Sanso's new IMOCA 60 Acciona here For Owen Clarke Design the new Acciona is their eighth and latest IMOCA 60 following 12 years involvement in the class, since their part in the design of Ellen MacArthur’s Kingfisher prior to the 2000 Vendee Globe. Prior to commissioning the new 60, Acciona skipper Javier Sanso sailed in the Barcelona World Race aboard Mutua Madrilena (the former Ecover 2) and competed in the 2009 Transat Jacques Vabre with Mike Golding on Ecover 3 (now Gamesa) – both Owen Clarke designs. According to Merfyn Owen they started development of a new IMOCA 60 design immediately after the finish of the last Vendee Globe, and had clients for a boat to enter the last Barcelona World Race. Unfortunately due the IMOCA 60 rule being in a state of flux at the time this didn’t come to pass. “We had developed this idea of lighter decks, and putting a trench into the deck,” says Owen. “So a lot of the concepts in Acciona were developed a few years ago.” When the button was finally pressed on Acciona, Owen Clarke pulled in former Emirates Team New Zealand designer Clay Oliver, who they have worked with often previously, to continue development work on the hull as they focussed on other areas of the boat. A significant feature of the new design was the amount of R&D they were able to carry out, significantly more than they have had the time or resource to do in the past. This included examining the competition – taking Gamesa as the datum hull and comparing it with the new Owen Clarke 60, the latest VPLP-Verdier, Farr and Juan K IMOCA 60 designs and the last generation Puma VO70 type hull form from Botin & Carkeek. These were all adjusted to