100 days of travel: from the laboratory to the sea

Engine on, the protocol horn and a battery of indications, such as a procession, movement to movement. A hydraulic crane lifted the One Planet One Ocean of the main ship of the Barcelona Nàutic Center and left it on the water to complete a fundamental part of the launching process, to make the practical assembly of each screw. It’s an exciting tension. Dídac Costa (Barcelona, ​​1980) looks at it with his hands on his waist. He has the job of nearly 11 months suspended up a few days to complete the 2000 nautical mile qualifying to prepare for his third Vendée Globe in November. He wants to reaffirm (unpretentiously) the status of the only Catalan to have completed the round the world, marathon runner, alone at the helm of “a Formula 1 boat”, as defined by the team.

Two hands and two eyes to dominate a boat made to fly, 60 feet long and a mast 28 feet high. Responsibility is strictly individual from the departure ceremony in France. It has unmanned captain gallons. The Barcelona native will not have assistance in the event of a mechanical problem or external information beyond what is essential stipulated in the competition. He will be alone in the middle of the ocean for over 100 days, with his management skills and experience of a lifetime between waves. “There are very cool moments and other very complicated ones. Good experiences are what command, they make up for it all. It’s a sport you know, you get into and you already have experience. The most important thing is to have the boat ready, that you know it well and that you are in shape. You have to be motivated to cope with the psychological pressure “, Costa explains to ARA.

The firefighter by profession naturalizes a major challenge that takes technical reading and the emotional field to the limit. Very marked diet, adverse weather conditions and a sleep stage sleep system, spread over strips of 20 to 30 minutes to control the course of the boat, in which the rowing phase is rubbed each time the alarm sounds. It is a very specific boundary, between primary needs and the recklessness of over-relying on external factors, forced to take risks and take on the storms to cushion the wind. “It simply came to our notice then. You have to be clear that the boat is big and therefore you have to do a lot of things. You don’t just have to surf. The energy of the systems must be correct, the weather information, that there are no breakdowns – that there are and you have to repair them -, send videos and messages to explain what you do, etc. You have to organize yourself according to the conditions and how you are. You have to be flexible to react to what is happening at all times “, explains Costa.

The covid-19 moment

Enlist in Everest de la vela is a vital project that ends weeks of uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic, with a sponsorship dance, financial obligations and a half-open workshop. Dídac Costa has worked alone for part of the days post-confinement to condition the old time trial Kingfisher with the company at times of a plant that has survived in a small pot the entire assembly line. “We are lagging behind, but we are on the right track. We didn’t know if the regatta would take place and the companies were hesitant to join. Gradually everything has become clearer with a lot of work we have been doing. The three months of confinement were the most important stretch of preparation. We were still lucky that I could be working, with a couple more people at most, when they usually sell up to six, ”he says. Modifications to the ship, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, have been made seeking to gain top speed and reduce weight, giving up the function of drifting on each side of navigation. It is already finisher. Now he wants more. “You always try to do it as fast as possible. Finishing the Vendée again would be a total success, I would be very happy, but I want to do better. We have lost weight and I think the boat is better “, he assures.

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