Built for the Vendée Globe 2012-2013, Acciona created quite a stir due to her great speed, particularly in the light airs.
That particular Vendée Globe was also characterised by an epidemic of broken keels. The day before Jean-Pierre Dick limped across the finish line with no keel, Spanish sailor Javier Sanso thought his time had come when Acciona capsized after her keel suddenly dropped out of the boat exactly 322 miles from the Azores. Manoeuvring in the cockpit at the time and scantily clad, the sailor who had always championed renewable energies and set sail without a diesel engine, was catapulted overboard. He managed to swim to the boat’s transom, reach the life raft and climb into it. Rescuers from the Portuguese Air Force, who were attempting to airlift him to safety in the dark despite the fact that the helicopter could not exceed a range of 400 miles, discovered a distraught shipwrecked sailor bordering on hypothermia. “It was on a razor-edge”, confirmed the head of the MRCC in Punta Delgada, who had coordinated the rescue of ‘Bubi’.
In early 2017, Offshore Team Germany purchased the Owen Clarke design with the intention of completely revamping the boat around the original hull. The entire refit is split into two phases. The Trimarine boatyard in Lisbon, managed by Fernando Sena, was in charge of effecting substantial repairs and composite modifications.
In late 2018, Charles Euverte entrusted the project to Joff Brown and tasked him with managing a comprehensive reconstruction of the boat including the keel, mast, electrics, electronics and rig in Gosport, UK. After several years in hibernation, Jörg Riechers’ team relaunched the monohull in May 2019 with classic straight daggerboards.
In the debut edition of The Ocean Race Europe in 2021, ‘Offshore Team Germany’, skippered by the former Olympic sailor Robert Stanjek and accompanied by Benjamin Dutreux, took the win in Genoa ahead of the latest generation foilers.
Since then, Canadian Scott Shawyer has purchased the Owen Clarke design with the aim of taking the start of the Vendée Globe 2028.