Didac Costa: "I will miss being the freedom to wander, to walk where I want"

For Catalan co-skipper Didac Costa the 2014/2015 Barcelona World Race will be a big step up to what he has been used to. He has never been in the Southern Ocean, his longest sail has been a Transatlantic and he has only recently started with the IMOCA 60 class. He sails the older, well proven One Planet, One Ocean and Pharmaton with Aleix Gelabert, whose first circumnavigation this will be. But the Spanish sailor, who has graduated through the Mini650 Class, says he is ready for the challenge. 

Interviews DEC 5, 2014 14:58

"At the moment I'm not really scared of what is coming", says Costa, a methodical, experienced sailor who knows to respect the duration of the race and take it one day at a time. “But I think I will miss the freedom of being able to go and wander, to go out for a walk or even running", says Costa, who is a firefighter by profession.

Are you ready to start the race?

Yes, I really do want to start the race. I think both Aleix and I are prepared and ready to go, although you always want more time to try everything on board again and again before you go.

How have these last few months been for you?

During the first few months of the project it was all about preparation, especially the boat and us. Then we started with different types of training on the water. For example, we did a 15-day passage between Barcelona and the Canary Islands. In October we went to Galicia to test the new sails and find some conditions which are similar to those that we’ll find in some bits of the race. That is always combined with fitness and conditioning and specific learning such as meteorology, strategy and so on.

Has it been easy for a firefighter, to physically prepare for a race like this?

It depends on your starting point and the routine you’ve been doing as a firefighter. The type of training for a sailor, as for a firefighter, is about short periods of physical activity, but always intense.

What are you afraid of?

At the moment I'm not afraid of much, but I have a lot of respect knowing that I'll be sailing for more than 90 consecutive days.

What will you miss the most while sailing?

I guess not to sleep more than three hours will not be easy but I also know I’ll miss being able to wander, to just step outside and go for a walk or even running… it will be three months living in a very small space.

Are you conservative or prefer to take risk? Do you prefer to push close to the limit or do sacrificing speed to rest at times?

You need to rest because it is a very long race. The way you rest or how much you sleep is a self discipline thing, but always trying to anticipate what the next days ahead will bring.

Aleix and you are the rookies of the race. How do you face up to this challenge?

It will be our first race around the world and we face it with enthusiasm and highly motivated. I consider myself a very motivated, ambitious sailor.

How is your relationship with Aleix?

Our relationship is good. Aleix and I share the same goal and have followed very similar paths in the world of sailing.

And what is your goal?

To finish the race.

What about your boat, the One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton?

She is the oldest boat in the fleet IMOCA 60 and, therefore, is slower. But, in saying that, we know that it is a reliable boat because she has already completed three around the world races. Aleix and I have great confidence in her to finish the race.

What do you look forwards to most?

The whole race, really. A contest at his level includes so many different factors to take account of, sailing long distances at speed, working the IMOCA 60, crossing the southern oceans, just the whole experience...