While major racing campaigns have been touting their greenness for years, none has achieved what many have aspired to: A major race completed using no fossil fuels. Enter Bubi Sanso and his Open 60 “Acciona,” who just finished the Europa Warm’up – a sort of pre-Vendee Globe, multi-leg race for Open 60s between Barcelona and La Rochelle – without using a drop of diesel, propane, or fuel-cell juice. Here’s more from Helena at Acciona Sailing and a video from the race here. Thanks to Jesus Renedo for the shot.
The first leg, with crew and sailing from Barcelona (Spain) to Cascais (Portugal), brought the fleet face-to-face with some radically tough sailing. A short period with virtually no wind was soon followed by a low pressure front that made the wind pick up, reaching to 50 knots, as the fleet made their way to the Strait of Gibraltar. The ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered, a newcomer to the racing world, took the first hurdle in its stride. The boat made good use of the Mediterranean sun, using the 12 square meters of solar panel embedded in the vessel’s hull to generate enough energy to keep the IMOCA 60 working at full capacity. ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered managed to cover 100% of its energy needs, which, for a vessel of this kind, are many and varied.
The North Atlantic was a far cry from the familiar and tried-and-tested Med: long, sun-lit days gave way to incessant cold and rain, with the sun nowhere to be seen. It was the start of a new challenge for all of the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered’s cutting-edge systems.
“After three solid days of non-stop rain and no sun, the solar panels didn’t get to charge very much; so I made up for it by using the hydro-generators which worked perfectly and enabled me to pull into port with the batteries at 70% of charge and with everything electrical on board turned on,” said Sanso.
It’s been a total success for Javier “Bubi” Sansó and the ACCIONA; together they came in fifth in the solo leg and sixth overall taking on the world’s finest IMOCA 60 skippers They’ve made history by completing a yacht race without using a single drop of fossil fuel. The ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered has proven to be a zero-emissions thoroughbred from bow to stern.
Next Stop: The Vendée Glob