Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Didac Costa's burning love for the Vendee Globe

by Vendée Globe 15 Feb 02:09 PST

He may be relatively small in stature, quiet and reserved in nature but the Catalan fire-fighter Didac Costa once more captured the hearts and minds of the Les Sables d'Olonne public and ocean racing fans when they watched his return back to the Vendée Globe race dock today after taking 20th place on his second consecutive Vendée Globe, his third back to back non stop round the world race.

When he had to return back to the start less than an hour into his race in November 2016, his counterparts from the local Les Sables d'Olonne fire service looked after him like he was one of their own, ensuring his generator was repaired as quickly as possible and sending him on his way four days after the fleet had left.

Their pride in Costa's second race was obvious today as the firefighters laid on an impressive spectacle of flares, smoke bombs and waterjets and led a rousing reception in his press conference for the 40 year old who returns to his own full time job on Friday and will have to do the return delivery back to Barcelona in stages because he has no holliday allocation left.

Costa, who admitted to have taken two right foot sea-boots on his race, chuckled to himself.... "I have had the best holiday, now I have to return to work ! " On any successive Vendée Globe the target is always to go faster and better than last time. And this time Costa at 97 days and 6hrs he was 11 days 13 hours quicker than when he finished 14th in 2016-17, but almost as important he had successfully paced himself against the 94d 4hrs record of his boat when it was sailed in 2000-2001 as Kingfisher by Elle MacArthur until a final 1000 miles détour round the Azores high saw that target slip.

"I have never stopped learning and surpassing myself, every day. " Costa said looking tired, slightly bemused, his body still constantly twitching involuntarily, reacting spontaneously to his brain's imagined movements of the media platform. His eyes twinkling, he recalled the southern oceans with the quiet delight of having brought himself and his famous boat back unscathed.

"With each turn I was measuring myself against Ellen MacArthur's times, and for the most part I managed to do the same times as her. It was really my reference. I had to take a big detour in the North Atlantic which slowed me down a lot compared to the time it had been in, but otherwise I managed to keep up the pace the entire course. The other reference was Pip Hare she has got a boat from the same generation, I was trying to stay as fast as her. "

Difficult conditions at sea

There are seven IMOCAs still in the North Atlantic including five still racing, Isabelle Joschke and Sam Davies are fighting to complete their circumnavigations after their retirement. Reached this morning, Manu Cousin (Groupe SETIN) is particularly focused, studying the succession of big depressions in the Bay of Biscay:

"Since this morning I have been watching the weather forecast to see how I will be able to pass them and get into Les Sables d'Olonne. I'm not sure how to go about getting past this area early next week. I still have to work on it. Especially with my injured boat, I don't want to risk going into such strong conditions because the files predict 50 knots. I have to remain very safew to be sure to finish. "

That is the same outlook for Clément Giraud who is expected to fnish Tuesday morning and who has been working tirelessly in very unstable winds, constantly trimming and looking after his boat.. The last skippers still at sea are equally worthy of admiration for their tenacity, and their determination to cross the finish line.

Next ETA (estimated arrival times)

Tuesday February 16 between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Clément GIRAUD (Compagnie du Lit / Jiliti)

Night from Wednesday 17 to Thursday 18 February
- Miranda MERRON (Campaign of France)

Friday February 19
- Manu COUSIN (SETIN Group)

Tuesday, February 23rd
- Sam DAVIES (Initiatives-Coeur, non-race)
- Isabelle JOSCHKE (MACSF, out of the race)

Friday February 26
- Alexia BARRIER (TSE - 4myplanet)

Saturday February 27 - Sunday February 28
- Ari HUUSELA (STARK)

Find out more...

Related Articles

A new Medallia for Pip Hare for 2024 Vendée Globe
The new owners of the IMOCA Bureau Vallée 2 British skipper Pip Hare and her sponsors Medallia have confirmed they are the new owners of the IMOCA Bureau Vallée 2 which Louis Burton sailed to third place on the Vendée Globe. Posted today at 6:10 am
All you need to know about the new IMOCA rules
A limit on foil size, measures to reduce environmental impact and contain costs The updated IMOCA rule seeks to limit foil size and limit environmental impact and to contain costs. The new rules which are in force until 2025 were unveiled by the IMOCA Class last week. Posted on 7 May
Vendée Globe - On course for 2024
A starter for 10... they have done it before and already said 'yes' The huge wave of enthusiasm for the Vendée Globe during and after the last edition means there are more and more solo skippers intimating their plans to do the next race which will start November 2024. Posted on 4 May
Interview with Catherine Chabaud MEP
First female Vendée skipper now cares for ocean health Back In 1997 Catherine Chabaud became the first female sailor to complete the Vendée Globe, taking sixth place and in so doing becoming the first woman to race solo non stop around the world without assistance. Posted on 28 Apr
2024 Vendée Globe projects already launched
New ideas and solutions will make it possible to have a faster, better race The president of the IMOCA Class was a passionate fan of the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe. And so now looking forwards to 2024 projects are emerging fast as are new ideas and solutions which will make it possible to have a faster, better race. Posted on 11 Apr
Ambitious 2024 targets for DMG MORI Sailing Team
Kojiro Shiraishi is aiming to return for the 2024 Vendée Globe After finishing 16th in the last race Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi is aiming to return for the 2024 Vendée Globe with the objective of finishing eighth or better, and in partnership with main sponsors DMG MORI Posted on 5 Apr
Back to life, back to reality V 2.0
They are among the latest sailors to have sailed around the world However, for Romain Attanasio, Arnaud Boissières, Clément Giraud, Manuel Cousin and Alexia Barrier, the 2024 Vendée Globe has already started with no real break fro them since they finished the 2020-21 race. Posted on 28 Mar
World capital of single-handed ocean racing
Les Sables d'Olonne is now preparing to welcome you for the next great adventures Port Olona, with its high-quality infrastructures, the infamous channel that so many great sailors have sailed through, the South-facing bay and the Atlantic ocean landing its waves to the expansive beach... Posted on 24 Mar
2020-21 Vendée Globe much more than just a success
Uniting, inspiring and engaging a wider audience than ever before Against an unprecedented global health context which brought on many unique challenges, the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe emerged as a triumph, uniting, inspiring and engaging a wider audience than ever before. Posted on 15 Mar
Vendée Globe: Never say never
Eye of the Expert, Alain Gautier He won the 1992-93 edition at the age of 31, he was the longtime safety consultant for the event and this time was the director of Isabelle Joschke's MACSF project, Alain Gautier has had many roles in his life with the Vendée Globe. Posted on 14 Mar
Lloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px1 BOTTOMVaikobi 2021 FlexForce - FOOTERSea Sure 2021 - RED - FOOTER