The vast tidal and wave energy resources represent a potential to use marine energy systems to supply part of the global energy demand. However, there are many advances required to develop economic and reliable marine energy systems, which some of these advances can be achieved by using the existing knowledge and experience from offshore and wind energy industry. This research presents a novel marine energy system that integrates the concept of a vertical and horizontal axis wind turbines by combining a Darrieus and Wells type rotor. However, many other different concepts have been proposed, but models that account for hydrodynamic, structure and control are needed to determine their technical and economical feasibility. With the use of the double-multiple streamtube theory, a hydrodynamic model is developed to predict the performance and the loads on the turbine blades coupled with a finite element model to compute strains and stresses. To validate the model, we used strain data from field measurement of the demo prototype. The validated model was used to compute extreme stresses and calculate the fatigue life. The model gives reliable estimates of stresses and fatigue life. With this result, the design analysis of the turbine blades can be optimized for any site condition and expected life time. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.