A dyed in the wool Catalan, Didac Costa from Barcelona, has something in common with another Vendée Globe hero, the British sailor, Mike Golding. He is a professional fireman. Working out of the Cerdanola del Vallès fire station, in the suburbs of Barcelona, he explains that his job has some similarities with solo sailing: “You have to know how to work as part of a team, you don’t get much sleep… and you have to remain calm, whatever happens”. Well summed up.
Didac Costa began his sailing career on the family cruiser with his parents. They used to sail up and down the Spanish coast and down to the Balearics, which gave the youngster a taste for offshore voyages. During his adolescence, he developed a passion for solo sailing. So quite naturally after a few years sailing dinghies, he moved to the Mini class, racing on those powerful 20 foot boats that are so well known in France. He finished on the podium in several Mediterranean races, before preparing for the big Atlantic crossing. In the end, he finished 19th in the series boats in the 2011 Mini Transat 2011 between la Rochelle and Bahia (Brazil). This enriching experience encouraged him to go even further “on more powerful boats, which are faster and more extreme – IMOCAs.”
Aboard these fascinating Vendée Globe boats, Didac Costa – who says he is “patient, calm and optimistic” – has already completed one race around the world. That was in the 2014-2015 Barcelona World Race in which he raced with Aleix Gelabert (another Mini racer from Barcelona). Aboard the venerable One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton, they even made it to fourth place with a boat that fans of the Vendée Globe will remember, as she was none other than the former Kingfisher aboard which Ellen MacArthur finished in second place in 2001. Getting such a result in the 2016 Vendée Globe will be highly unlikely for Didac, given the high standard of the line-up for this eighth edition of the Everest of the seas. But that is not a problem. He understands that and says his main aim is to achieve what he has done before sailing double-handed, but this time sailing solo. He wants to complete the round the world voyage via the three capes by himself. While he attempts to complete his budget, Didac is continuing to train on a Figaro at the CEM in La Grande Motte, one of the top factories for European champions.
Didac wasn't expecting to take part in this season's Figaro races… but he soon understood that training on this boat would be one of the best ways to get ready for the Vendée Globe.