Europa Warm-Up Race – Javier Sansó crosses La Rochelle finish

ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered - Europa Warm-Up 2012
Europa Warm-Up second stage, from Cascais to La Rochelle, concluded today, Monday 4th June 2012. Javier Sansó crossed the finish line at 13h 12m22s (UTC) to complete his first major competitive test with his new Owen-Clarke designed ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered. He finished with an elapsed time of eight days, 22h, 12m on a theoretical average of 10.79kts.

Spanish skipper Sansó may have crossed the finish line around 24 hours after the fourth placed skipper Bernard Stamm, but Sansó now has a good measure of what he needs to achieve for himself and his boat prior to starting his second Vendée Globe this coming November.

The Europa Warm-Up has been something of a baptism of fire for the Palma, Mallorca based Sansó, not just in making his first major race with the boat, but in immediately putting himself up against the cream of the IMOCA Open 60 crop in terms of the best optimised boats, most experienced skippers, newest boats and the up and coming stars. He will have discovered the level he wants to reach is high, but meantime he has certainly proven the reliability and efficiency of his 100% renewable energy IMOCA Open 60, and so to that extent at least Sanso can consider his first victory to be completed.

In La Rochelle, where the race finished, a press conference unveiled the week’s plans for the Europa Warm-Up’s programme there. The city’s assistant director for sports Jack Dillenbourg, accompanied by IMOCA’s Dominique Wavre reported that schoolchildren will get their chance to visit La Rochelle on Thursday to crawl all over these carbon monsters. Who knows if any will choose to reveal some of the dark, hidden secrets which to date have remained known only to the sailors and their shore teams. On Friday the boats will come out of the fishing boat dock to take to the waters off La Rochelle for timed racing.

Jack Dillenbourg - Europa Warm-Up 2012

Jack Dillenbourg, Deputy Mayor for Sport in the City of La Rochelle: 'The format of this event is very attractive. Seeing these boats in the fishing boat basin and it is easy to understand these stories. We are obviously very pleased to host the Europa Warm’Up although given the circumstances we had to work at speed to be ready.'

Bernard Stamm and Jack Dillenbourg - Europa Warm-Up 2012

Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat), fourth placed: 'This race has not always been easy or straightforward, but it has been insightful and instructive. The format has been great. The first, crewed stage validates the technical choices with the right people on board and the second stage, solo, tests our ability to take full control on these machines, which are – after all – very complex. This second stage? Well I remember the good and the not so good. The worst bit was losing two kites after the Azores. Cheminées Poujoulat ended up with her wings chopped a bit, especially over the last bit. Another thing is that my carbon sails seem to interfere with the comms. I came from the Fastnet unable to really update my weather info. The best was still the great downwind sailing in strong winds between the Azores and the Fastnet. We saw just how high and even the level is. I hit 30kts at times but you need to look after the boat'.

Javier Sansó (ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered), in fifth: 'We had a lot of trouble with autopilots which did not work very well. This was obvious even before reaching the the Azores. However, in terms of performance, the boat is perfect. I have not had any problems with generating power, using solar panels and hydrogenerators. We had three days without a ray of sunshine and everything worked fine. It's a shame to have been separated away a bit from the rest of the fleet because of my pilots. I've learned many things, however. Finally, it must be said that the level of the fleet was incredible. For me, the future winner of the Vendée Globe is one of those guys.'

Dominique Wavre - Europa Warm-Up 2012

Dominique Wavre (skipper and director of the IMOCA): 'I have chosen La Rochelle as the home port of Mirabaud, and I am particularly pleased to see the IMOCA’s bring pontoons into the fisherman’s basin. I'm amazed to see the performance level of the competitors. I'm just as amazed as to how the organization team has managed the feat of running a flawless race with a great media operation in such a short time. I would be very proud to see this event return to La Rochelle.'

Leg 2 Final standings before jury:
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Finish date

Finish time 

Elapased time





11h 22mn 50s

 7d 18h 22mn 50s




03-June -12

12h 33mn 58s

 7d 19h 33mn 58s



Banque Populaire

03-June -12

15h 11mn 15s

 7d 22h 11mn 15s



Cheminées Poujoulat

03-June -12

17h 16mn 17s

 8d 00h 16mn 17s



ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered

04-June -12

15h 12mn 22s

8d 22h 12mn 22s



Virbac-Paprec 3







Groupe Bel






Calendar 6th to 9th June Europa Warm-Up
Thursday 7th June
14h - 15h30: Visit of school children from La Rochelle
16h: Race Direction Briefing at the Town Hall of La Rochelle.
18h30 : Reception at the Town Hall

Friday 8th June
8h : Departure of the boats from the Bassin des Chalutiers
11h30 : Start of CHRONO 1 racing
16h : Boarding inter-isles pleasure boat for those who have reserved opposite La Médiathèque
16h30 : Start of CHRONO 2
18h30 : Disembark from boats at same point
20h : IMOCA Open 60’s return to the dock
20h30/21h : Cocktail at France 1

Saturday 9th June
In front of La Renommée/Office du Tourisme
13h30/15h15 : Pétanque – meet at Café de La Renommée
Quai Tabarly
14h-18h : Social gathering and exhibition of local food and wine
16h-17h : Skippers dedication
17h : Prizegiving and cocktail on behalf of the city
20h30 : Concert at France 1

Europa Warm-Up website