Please select your home edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

Barcelona's Didac Costa (One Planet One Ocean) finishes 20th in his second Vendée Globe

by Vendée Globe 13 Feb 12:59 PST 13 February 2021

Catalonian firefighter Didac Costa finished his second Vendée Globe solo round the world race this evening at 19:47:03hrs UTC, crossing the line off Les Sables d'Olonne in 20th place in an elapsed time of 97d 06hrs 27m 03s. When he set off with the record sized field of 33 solo skippers on Sunday 8th November, the quiet, humble skipper from Barcelona was hoping to beat his 108d 19hrs time on the 2016-17 race and to get closer to the 94 days 4 hours record for his boat set when it was new, finishing second in 2001 in the hands of Ellen MacArthur.

Costa, who celebrated his 40th birthday during the race, works full time as a fire fighter in his native city, is the first amateur skipper to finish this edition race. He had to take time out from his two weeks of pre-start obligations in Les Sables d'Olonne to return to Spain to fulfil his work rota and will be back working by the end of next week.

After the 2014 two handed Barcelona World Race which he sailed with Aleix Gelabert, this is his third consecutive round the world race with this most famous IMOCA which today finishes her sixth round the world race from six starts, five days before celebrating her 21st birthday.

Compared with his 2016-17 challenge, this has been a far more satisfying race for the former Mini 650 sailor. He was forced to return back to Les Sables d'Olonne only 45 minutes into his race last time because a ballast hose had pulled off and it flooded his engine bay shorting out his electrics and damaging his generator. After a battle against the clock to repair, during which he was helped immeasurably by his Les Sables d'Olonne fire service counterparts, Costa restarted four days later with his nearest competitor 700 miles ahead of him.

And honouring his performance and his successful return to Les Sables d'Olonne again, Costa was afforded the warmest welcome back by his Les Sables d'Olonne fire service friends. After that his race was still plagued by sail, electrics and rigging problems. In contrast during this race he has been in close contact with rivals, a lot of the time enjoying boat for boat racing with his former Mini class rival and friend Pip Hare on board Medallia, an IMOCA of similar age and speed potential.

Having bought the IMOCA from the FNOB in May 2019 along with his business partner Pep Costa (no relation) the skipper and a small group of friends refitted the boat but due to funds and timing Didac was unable to compete in any intervening races.

"I only had two or three afternoons off in the last two years, the rest of the time I was working or working on the boat." Said Costa before the start.

Hence he knows every millimetre of his boat perfectly. Among the key changes to improve performance, in consultation with Owen Clarke who were part of the original Kingfisher design group, Costa removed the 250kgs daggerboards as part of an operation which saved nearly 1 tonne in weight. They fitted new Quantum Sails, changed the ballast configuration, fitted a new engine and new electronics. Even after a successful initiative crowd funding and selling Didac T shirts and merchandising he and the team still lacked funding when he started.

Doubly determined to succeed and with his cares and worries left on the dock Costa is immediately back in his element taking every opportunity, showing patience and determination. At the Canaries, he fought with Arnaud Boissières, Pip Hare and Manu Cousin group. The "four" pass the equator, some 5 days after the first, but in very close contact with each other, already having a great race within the race.

Costa is a happy skipper: "I'm happy to have crossed the equator and to be in the southern hemisphere in the thick of a fight. Outside there is not much different to usual but my inner excitement is growing little by little, but the anticipation of getting back to the southern oceans wells up in me even more and more, I am so looking forwards to it."

Eleventh in the 2011 Mini Transat, fourth in that Barcelona World Race in 2015 with Aleix Gelabert 14th in the Vendée Globe 2016 there is nothing Didac Costa loves more than ocean racing. For the record hours after finishing the Barcelona World Race he jumped on board with Jean Le Cam to deliver Cheminées Poujoulat. Costa is so eager to learn from a master, some of that knowledge transference he demonstrates in this ninth Vendée Globe, pushing hard to be able to compete close to more recent IMOCAs.

"I am very careful to work hard at my settings and trimming and I see each time I gain half a knot of speed it is so satisfying! ", He wrote when passing Cape Leeuwin, not far from Stéphane Le Diraison.

He, like others, has wind vane problems from about the middle of the Indian Ocean and can no longer fully trust his autopilot. But once more he seems to be almost at home in the big depression of the south:

"The sea was impressive: mountainous and building with waves were coming from all directions. The wind was whipping the spindrift off the top of the waves but my One Planet One Ocean was doing what knows how to, where it is at home ".

Twentieth at Cape Horn in weather and sea conditions more favourable for the Costa stays in touch with the group all the way up the Atlantic, after only just missing catching the same system as his rivals, the redoubtable Catalan finishes just 1d 18hrs 49m 33s hours after Pip Hare.

The Stats of Didac Costa / One Planet One Ocean

He covered the 24,365 miles of the theoretical course at an average speed of 10.44 knots

Distance actually sailed on the water: 28,172 miles at 12.07 knots on average

The Key Passages

Equator out
22nd on 23/11/20 at 15:03 UTC, 5 days 01 h 44 min after the leader

Cape of Good Hope
21st on 12/08/20 at 10:17 UTC, 7 days 11h 06 min after the leader

Cape Leeuwin
19th on 12/22/20 at 9:43 p.m. UTC, 9 days 10h 17 min after the leader

Cape Horn
20th on 01/13/21 at 16:02 UTC, 11 days 02h 19 min after the leader Equator (return) 20th on 01/28/21 at 22:23 UTC, 12 days 02h 11 min after the leader

His boat

Architect: Humphreys / Owen

Builders Marten Marine (NZ) Launching: February 2000 (ex Kingfisher of Ellen Mac Arthur, 2nd in the Vendée Globe 2000)

Find out more...

Related Articles

Big win for Ruyant and LinkedOut
After a 3-way shoot-out in the Transat Jacques Vabre After a three way battle for the overall victory, fought between LinkedOut, APIVIA and Charal it was was the partnership of Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière which prevailed to score the first major trans-ocean race win for the LinkedOut team. Posted on 29 Nov
21 Vendée Globe skippers set to race the TJV
The strong IMOCA class sees 22 boats racing No fewer than 21 skippers from the last Vendée Globe 2020-2021 will leave to cross the Atlantic Sunday from start line of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the double handed race which this year follows a 5800 nautical miles course finishing in Martinique. Posted on 6 Nov
Alex Thomson: "What they want is to have a father"
Interview after his confirmation he will not compete in the 2024 Vendée Globe To many it comes as a shock, even if he has been unusually quiet since he had to retire from the last Vendée Globe. But British skipper Alex Thomson confirmed that he will not compete in the 2024 Vendée Globe. Posted on 29 Oct
The suspense is at its peak!
Vendée Globe Atlantic eSeries is living up to all its promises This first edition of the Vendée Globe Atlantic eSeries is living up to all its promises: boats everywhere, total uncertainty about the weather conditions to come... the race is exciting! Posted on 28 Oct
2024 Vendée Globe Notice of Race published
Rules of participation are put in place three years before the start The SAEM Vendée, the organizing entity behind the Vendée Globe, has just published the Notice of Race which details the rules for competing in the 10th edition of the Vendée Globe. Posted on 21 Oct
Louis Duc: This is a boat which wanted to go again
The qualifying route in the Vendée Globe 2024 has many key stages Some one month before the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre race, Louis Duc (Kostum - Lantana Paysage) who is looking to race the 2024 Vendée Globe is stepping up his preparations with Marie Tabarly, his coskipper for the Transat Jacques Vabre. Posted on 10 Oct
The Vendée Globe is back on Virtual Regatta
Vendée Globe Atlantic eSeries will start on 10th October 2021 The Vendée Globe eSeries: 4 stages of preparation for the e-Vendée Globe 2024. First round: the Vendée Globe Atlantic eSeries will start on 10th October 2021 and registration opens at 18:00 today. Posted on 3 Oct
An ambitious IMOCA project for Armel Tripon
Latest IMOCA boat to be built using carbon fibre remains from AIRBUS in Nantes Latest IMOCA boat to be built using carbon fibre remains from AIRBUS in Nantes. Posted on 1 Oct
Défi Azimut, plenty of promise
What is the Azimut-Lorient Agglomeration Challenge? Last weekend in Lorient, 14 duos contested the last official event before November's Transat Jacques Vabre. While Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat once again demonstrated their talent Posted on 26 Sep
The Vendée Arctic - Les Sables d'Olonne 2022
The first qualifying stage for the Vendée Globe 2024 The SAEM Vendée, the organisers of the Vendée Globe, will also organize the "Vendée Arctic - Les Sables-d'Olonne" which will be the first qualifying stage for the Vendée Globe 2024. The "Arctic Vendée Les Sables-d'Olonne" will leave from Port Olona Posted on 21 Sep
Cyclops 2020 - SmartlinkNano - FOOTERHenr-Lloyd 2021 For the love of foul weather FOOTERVaikobi 2021 Boots - FOOTER