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Interview with Didac Costa before the Jacques Vabre

Interview with Didac Costa before the Jacques Vabre

Nautical Channel has interviewed Didac Costa before he set sail on his adventure to the 15th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2021. The sailor who has already circumnavigated the globe single-handed will compete alongside Stéphane Le Diraison on board the IMOCA 60 class in Time for Oceans. 

Read more: Find out more about the Transat Jacques Vabre

What does taking part in the Transat Jacques Vabre mean to you? 

The Transat Jacques Vabre is a very interesting race for me after the IMOCA round the world races. To be able to do a different race that is shorter, which is a transatlantic race only, and to do it as a double-handed race. After having done the Barcelona World Race, it's something that I really like to be able to compete in this type of race and it's interesting. The boat is also different so I can get to know this other boat and all of this is knowledge that you acquire and it's very positive for sailing. 


What are your objectives for this Transat Jacques Vabre? 

In general, as in any other regatta, the goal is to compete as hard as possible and do as well as possible. I'm not particularly familiar with it, but Stephane is very well known and the aim is to go as hard as possible, bearing in mind that it's a shorter race than the round the world race. We are going to try to do the best we can: there are a lot of boats, there is a very high level and within the fleet (which is a very competitive fleet) we will try to do the best we can. 

What do you think is the key to a good result in the Transat Jacques Vabre? 

Well, apart from getting the boat right and also obviously having the best boat in the Jacques Vabre, there is a very important part of strategy, especially in the first few days. There are always several strategic options and it is also a very important part. After this decision or decisions that have to be made, it's also very important to have a good sailing rhythm and to push the boat to the maximum.


Given your experience as a firefighter, what made you decide to get on the water and compete in long distance regattas? 

Well, offshore racing has always attracted me since I was a child and when I had the opportunity I started with the Mini Transat a few years ago, and as opportunities arose to continue participating in these races, I was doing it and I liked it. I hope that in the future there will be more opportunities too. 

What has been the most memorable moment of your career? 

It's hard to say. The truth is that when you finish any transatlantic or round the world regatta you remember it a lot. Specifically, the two Vendée Globe races, as soon as you finish them, are what I remember the most, but all the races are memorable on a personal level. 


How did you and Stéphane Le Diraison decide to get on the same boat and compete together in the Transat Jacques Vabre? Do you think this friendship will help you in future sailing events?

Stéphane and I met in the last two Vendée Globes and that's how we got to know each other in action. Then a while ago I asked to join his team for this Jacques Vabre and I was delighted to accept. I'm happy to be here sailing in this race so that I can continue to compete and to continue to be on the IMOCA circuit racing as well. 

Can you remember the biggest challenge you faced during the Vendée Globe?

The truth is that in principle the whole race is a challenge in itself, starting with being at the start and then it's a very, very long race and every day is a different challenge. Things happen during the race and you have to deal with breakdowns, fatigue, weather conditions that are very complicated and these are challenges that you face along the way and that is also the beauty of this race. The whole Vendée is a challenge and that's the best way to define it. 


Time for Oceans is very much rooted in the sustainability of the oceans, what does this imply and what does it mean to you? 

Well this is a very important issue really and it is something that we have been working on in the last few round the world races. Like One Planet One Ocean, which is the name of the boat in the last two Vendée Globe and the Barcelona World Race, and with which we are carrying out environmental projects, especially in relation to the ocean. 

It is also interesting that we have now coincided in their team (Le Diraison), in their project Time for Oceans, which specifically advises companies on how to take care of sustainability issues so that they can implement them, so it is interesting to be able to follow this line and in the future I would like to be able to continue along this path. 

What achievements and goals do you have for sailing in the coming years? 

For the next few years, my projects are related to continuing to compete in the IMOCA class and the most important race on this circuit is the Vendée Globe, which I would like to do again. During the previous years I would like to be in other regattas to qualify and to be at the start of the Vendée Globe to do it in a competitive boat and try to have better results than in another boat.