23 February 2017 - 14:58 • 7935 views



Didac Costa's welcome back to Les Sables d'Olonne was big. And at the heart of it were the men and women of the Les Sables d'Olonne fire service. They brought their trucks to the slipways and delivered a cacophony of sirens, flashing lights, flares, water cannons but most of all showed their pride and appreciation in a job well done by one of their own, a fire officer like each of them, who had pursued his dream and today realised it.

They were instrumental in making sure he could re-start his race. And today they made sure the welcome back to Les Sables d'Olonne was extra special. "I did not expect anything less from them, as firemen we always do things big." The usually quiet, almost reserved Costa was animated, excited and informative. Pleased to be back on land he spoke of how he never expected or even hoped to be so far up the fleet. Here are some of the highlights of what Didac Costa had to say on his return to Les Sables d'Olonne today:

“As you can imagine, after finishing the round the world race I feel very, very happy. It has been really difficult to get here, not only with the race itself but also with the whole project that begun two years ago. I cannot be happier after all the work we have done. Very happy to be here again, seeing all the people who have helped me so now we have to celebrate and enjoy the moment.”

“This is a project that took a long time and this is the conclusion, so I’m very happy. I sailed as well as I could. When I set sail again there were 28 boats ahead of me. So finishing fourteenth is great. The welcome in Vendée was crucial. I had a lot of problems at the start and it was hard for me. I only had a small team and without the support here I wouldn’t have been able to restart. To be honest, this is very emotional. It has been awesome. I am very happy and above all very grateful to the firemen, not only because of their welcome but also for all they did before. it is thanks to them I was able to re-start. Their help was very important in repairing the damage I had and allowing me to start again.”

“I had a lot of problems with my sails from the Indian Ocean. A few problems with the autopilot. It wasn’t easy after all the electronic problems at the start.”

“The Barcelona World race sailed double-handed is very different, while having similarities. I would like to set sail again in the Vendée Globe but without the problems, if it is possible.”

“I feel very good, very happy to have finished after all the hard work to get here. Being at the start line was already very complicated with the problems we had. The most difficult thing was to manage the problems and damages I had on the boat, the problems with the sails and taking care of the things that we changed at the start. This is a very long race, and it gets really hard.” 

“Romain has been an incredible motivation for me, to be able to sail neck and neck for more than two months .... It is something that I really appreciate because I have learned a lot. I'm looking forward to seeing him to congratulate him.”

“When I left Les Sables for the second time and with 28 boats ahead, finishing 14th was unthinkable. I have finished the race and in a good position, so I am super happy.”

“The firemen in Les Sables have been very kind to me. Their help has been vital, as without them we probably could not have started again. They are a very important part of this project. I will always be grateful for their help.”

“To be alone for so long becomes difficult sometimes, but I have felt good. It was a new experience for me. It would have been better being alone 80 days than 100 (laughs), but that’s fine. I already knew my boat from the Barcelona World Race I did with Aleix, but things are different when you sail alone, perhaps even more than I expected. I had not trained solo and I have been learning a bit on the fly. I would like to be able to continue learning in a safe project with guarantees. It does not make sense to do the same thing again. If there is a chance to do it right, I would like to.”