Spanish flier

Jesus Renedo / Acciona
Javier Sanso brings us up to speed with his Acciona 100% EcoPowered campaign
A boat worth keeping an eye on during this Vendee Globe will be Acciona 100% EcoPowered. Skipper Javier Sanso will be attempting to get the best Spanish result in the singlehanded non-stop around the world race since Jose Ugarte and his Euskadi Europ 93 BBK finished sixth in 1992-3. But the main reason is that Sanso will be sailing around the world with no fossil fuels on board. While there is hydrogen on board to drive the main electric engine, this is only for emergency use, otherwise alternative energy systems power all of Acciona’s electronics, from the autopilot that steers the boat 90% of the time, to the power-hungry satcoms gear. Read our full report on this boat here and Merf Owen's thoughts on her design here. Acciona 100% EcoPowered, an Owen Clarke IMOCA 60, was only launched last year after a build at Southern Ocean Marine in New Zealand, making her the newest boat in this Vendee Globe. For her skipper an issue on the road to making the start has been attempting to comply with the IMOCA rules, in particular those governing the engine requirements. These include being able to drive the boat for five hours at five knots as well as exceeding a pull test load of 280daN for 15 minutes at the dock. “They are great and honest and very sensible for now, because if we didn’t have that rule we would be very very light and I don’t think it would be fair,” muses Sanso. So in comparison with the other teams, where one of the most closely guarded pre-race secrets is how much diesel they will carry (for the most part, this will be less than four years ago as most boats now have two Watt & Sea hydrogenerators stuck on their transom – as pioneered