Sunday, November 28

Dídac Costa, National Sailing Award to the best ocean sailor for his second solo round the world


Bayona (Pontevedra)

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The Vendée Globe is, for many, the most extreme competition in the sport of sailing. It involves going around the world alone, without stopovers, assistance or external help, a challenge available to very few and that many fewer have yet been able to complete as amateur sailors.

One of those sailing prodigies is Didac Costa, a 40-year-old Catalan firefighter who in 2021 became part of the history of sailing in Spain by becoming the first Spaniard to circumnavigate the planet alone twice.

He did it aboard the IMOCA60 “One Planet One Ocean”, a 21-year-old monohull, 18 meters long and slightly more than 5 wide with which he traveled the 24,840 nautical miles (46,004 kilometers) that involve circling the planet from west to west. east with departure and arrival in the French coastal town of Les Sables d’Olonne.

In the competition, which has been held every four years since 1989 and is one of the most followed nautical events in the world, 33 boats participated, of which only 25 managed to finish. Costa was the only Spaniard in the race and managed to complete the test in 97 days, 6 hours, 27 minutes and 3 seconds, lowering his previous mark (from the 2016-2017 edition) in 11 days.

A complete success for a non-professional sailor who never wanted to win, but to complete the greatest challenge of ocean sailing. He made up for the lack of resources, poor preparation, and the age of his ship with determination, bravery, determination, and courage. He dealt with breakdowns and breakages but never gave up. And in less than 100 days since his departure, he managed to return to the starting point with a new dream fulfilled.

In the history of sailing in Spain, a new line was written thanks to the feat of a man who began to dream of circumnavigating the planet when he was just a child, when his parents told him about José Luis de Urgarte, the Basque navigator who completed the regatta in 1993.

That dream began to take shape in 2014, when he became the youngest rider to participate in the Barcelona World Race around the world with Aleix Gelabert. As with the great adventurers, at the end of the event (in fourth position), Didac already had a new challenge in mind: the Vendée Globe, in which he would participate for the first time in 2016.

Without a sponsor to finance the project, having to take a mortgage and with multiple problems from the start of the test, the navigator managed to finish it by crossing the finish line in fourteenth position. He became the second Spaniard to complete the tour and the dreams continued to grow.

Didac was already thinking about a new edition of the Vendée Globe and in 2020 he returned to enroll in the competition that has allowed him to become the only Spaniard to complete the mythical French regatta twice and has earned him the Terras Gauda National Sailing Award for the best ocean sailor, which will be presented at a gala on September 4 at the Monte Real Club de Yates de Bayona (Galicia), within the framework of the 36th Prince of Asturias Trophy.

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