Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa completed in fourth place their first circumnavigation, non-stop, having covered the 23,321-mile theoretical course in 98 days, 9 hours, 12 minutes and 9 seconds.
For both Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa Barcelona is home – Didac was born here - and to complete their first ever circumnavigation in a Spanish-flagged yacht, sailing in and out of their home port, is a particularly special moment. To do so finishing fourth in an IMOCA 60 round the world race, having completed the course non-stop, is an inspirational achievement for the duo.
Both Gelabert and Costa began their solo racing careers in the Mini 6.50 class, competing in the 2011 Mini Transat to finish 18th in the Proto and 21st in the Series divisions respectively. Both moved up to the IMOCA 60s through the FNOB, Gelabert racing onboard GAES Centros Auditivos and sailing doublehanded with Anna Corbella, as well as working as perparateur for Anna and Gerard Marín on their doublehanded Figaro campaign.
Gelabert’s first taste of the Barcelona World Race was as shore crew for Corbella and Dee Caffari in the previous edition of the race, in 2010. Costa, meanwhile, is relatively new to the IMOCA class, although the pair sailed some 8,000 miles together in training to prepare for the race. To follow Corbella and Marín home in fourth place will be a dream come true for both of them, having commented before the race that their ambition was to complete the course. Aleix, aged 37, is an architect by profesion and Didac, 34, a firefighter.
The Catalan pairing onboard One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton were the undisputed ‘rookies’ of the race – this was their first attempt at a round the world voyage, neither had ever sailed in the Southern Oceans, and yet they not only finished fourth, but were the third team to complete the course non-stop.
The crew will be racing on the former Kingfisher, the boat Ellen MacArthur famously smashed the Atlantic record from Plymouth to Newport with in 2000, taking second place in the Vendée Globe 2000/01 and later a Route du Rhum victory in 2002. It then became Educación Sin Fronteras with Albert Bargués and Servane Escoffier making their first non-stop, circumnavigation of the planet in the Barcelona World Race 2007/08. In the second edition of the double-handed, round the world challenge Gerard Marín and Ludovic Aglaor raced the yacht re-christened as Fòrum Marítim Català.
One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton is therefore one of the IMOCA 60 fleet with the highest mileage and number of circumnavigations under its belt. This is a solid and reliable yacht that has recently undergone a thorough inspection at the FNOB Ocean Sailing Base, with special attention paid to the keel and appendages, the steering and the electronic on-board systems.