The official Ceremony of the Vendée Globe Awards 2012 took place at Les Sables d’Olonne (France), city of departure and arrival of the regatta, last May 11th.
ACCIONA100%EcoPowered’s ambassador was its Skipper Javier Sansó.
“We made it by the hand of ACCIONA. We can surely be very proud. We didn’t make it to the finish line, which was very sad indeed, but we were able to prove that it is possible to sail with no fossil fuels. It’s complicated, but possible” said Bubi, answering questions about the boat and its performance throughout the race.
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The ACCIONA team would like to send you this video summary with the impressive images of the rescue of Spanish skipper Javier ‘Bubi’ Sansó on 3rd February, and the recovery of ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered, the first zero emissions racing boat, from the North Atlantic on 6th February.
Having rested since yesterday on the Island of Terceira and being rescued by the Portuguese Air Force, Javier Bubi Sansó, skipper of ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered, the first ever totally eco-powered boat, has now fully recovered and is looking forward to many things.
“First of all I would like to thank the Portuguese Air Force for their rescue. It really was a spectacular feat, and I also want to reassure everyone that I am in good physical health. I am absolutely fine.
I am also feeling in very good spirits because the aims of ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered have almost completely been fulfilled. We were just “4 miles” from the finish line. It is a real shame not to have finished, but the objectives that I believed in have been proven, and that is to sail with a boat that is 100% eco-efficient. This was our main goal, and this is the objective that remains.
We sailed around the world. The team can be truly proud of the work they did in the last three years, and now it is time for us to continue; we have to keep investigating and doing more things.
That is all. I am really grateful to everyone that has followed us, and for the support messages I have seen on-line. I have been on the internet and I am really grateful for them. When you are experiencing this kind of thing and something like this happens, it is really quite moving to see just how concerned people are for you.
But as you can see, I am perfectly ok and ready for action! Now it is time to try and get the boat back and get it back into shape. So from here sending greetings to you all!”
At ACCIONA we only have words of gratitude for such an unforgettable experience that you have enabled us to share with you.
You were only 1400 miles, and about five days before the arrival in Les Sables d’Olonne, on 3rd February at 11.49 (CET) and 360 miles from the south of the Azores when the boat capsized and your retirement from the race was inevitable.
Up until that moment, and with your great effort and expertise ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered had completed 85 days of sailing over 26,000 nautical miles solo, non-stop, without outside assistance and without CO2 emissions.
Now as you are safe and sound at the Lajes de Terceira aerial base it is time to reflect on the enormous challenge that ACCIONA has undertaken during this time.
For the first time in the history of offshore sailing, a boat driven exclusively by clean and non-fossil fuel energy has been able to successfully complete a lap of the world, solo and non-stop. It was on 21st January at 22.25 GMT when ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered en-route home crossed the exact same point it had sailed south in the area of the Island of Trinidad, and as such realizing a ‘de facto’ lap of the world; becoming a historical reference point in the world of competitive offshore sailing.
Bubi, we are absolutely convinced that thanks to the great effort you and the whole team have made, we are leading the way in new forms of thought and behaviour, showing that it is possible to face any challenge and with the sole support of the energy provided by nature. Moreover we are sure that in the next Vendée Globe there will be other boats that will follow in the wake of this unique gesture; it is the only possible future.
Of course we would also like to send our thanks to the different rescue services whose professionalism and celerity made the rescue of Bubi possible, thanks also to the Vendée Globe organization, it has been a pleasure and great honour to take part in this race. And finally we wish to thank the thousands of fans and followers who have continually shown us their support throughout the most difficult of times.
It all happened so quickly. At around midday yesterday I was sailing upwind in around 20 knots from the NE and had just sent a report to the Race HQ giving my position and how all the energy systems were working well. Suddenly, when on deck and about to let out a reef, there was a sudden bang that made the boat the boat shake and the boat heeled over suddenly, which threw me in the water before I could react. From the water I saw how the boat continued to heel over fast and then roll. I was able to swim up to the transon and activate the life raft, which I got into. I remained in the raft all afternoon and well into the evening. I made the most of the daylight hours to try and dry out my clothes a bit. But due to the strong swell, was unable to tie on to the boat so quickly started to drift away from her.
At 1800 I spotted the Maritime Rescue aircraft that I did signal with a flare. The sighting of the aircraft greatly reassured me and gave me the confidence to know that everything was working and who was managing the emergency properly.
About 2355 I heard again the sound of engines and watched a helicopter maneuvering near the boat, away from my position about two miles. The night was dark and for a moment I doubted that they had sighted me. After lighting my last flare the helicopter headed toward me, a rescue swimmer jumped into the water and I put in a harness for hoisting. In the helicopter a doctor examined me and found that I was in good physical condition.
Now I am at the Lajes Air Base in Terceira, who I have to thank for their hospitality. I really wish to emphasize the heartfelt thanks for the care and hospitality of the Portuguese rescue teams and the treatment I am receiving here at the base. From now on, and after a needed break, it will be a matter of preparing the boat recovery operation with my team to then be able to assess with accuracy what happened.
Firstly I would like to thank ACCIONA, my team, and the race organisation for the speed with which they handled the emergency, and especially the Maritime Rescue Service for the flawless rescue operation and the helicopter operating to the limit of its autonomy. And of course, thank you very much to all those who have followed me and have worried about me last night.