Thursday, November 20, 2014


On the class with more boats and where the competition is harder, the 40class, Alex Pella did not only win the race but also beat the record by one day and five hours. The boat was designed by Gonzalo Botin, the brother of Marcelino Botin and built by Longitud Cero. A completely Spanish team, from the sailor to the builder, passing by the designer, beating all the French on the biggest French Transat. That's a hell of an accomplishment and also one that means the French are not alone anymore in what regards top solo sailing and top racing solo boats design. 

Regarding design, several designers have tried including Ker, Owen and Clarke and Rob Humphrey but the  honor of having designed the first 40class racer  that beat the French designed boats on the bigger Transat, is for  Gonzalo Botin.
The name of Botin partners is not very well known out of the racing world but if I name some of their designs I believe that many will recognize the boats because they are winners: Caro, the Knierin 65 performance cruiser that beat all the race boats and won the last ARC, Beau Gest, the 80ft racer, the Grand Soleil 50, the VOR70 Camper and many top TP52 among other great boats. One of the more exciting and best NA teams around.

Alex Pella is a great sailor having taken part in two IMOCA seasons (2009 and 2011) and that, for lack of budget that would allow him a competitive boat, has passed to the 40class. He has been a top contender on the previous Transat, did not win  because he had to stop at La Coruna to repair a rudder  but after that he made an incredible recuperation to the first places, finishing second very near the first (with Pablo Santurde).

42 year old Pella, is at the top of his abilities as a solo racing sailor and it would really be a shame not to see this all Spanish team enter the next Vendee Globe. I really hope that this great victory can contribute for a Spanish national support that allows them to enter the next big solo race with a top boat, a Botin designed one, built in Spain.

Une course parfaite ! Arrivée d'Alex Pella... by routedurhum


  1. Incredible job done by the Spaniards in this race showing that there is also a strong passion for sailing in Spain. At least for those who can afford it since the government regulations are strangling literally the nautic bussines and this is a pitty since as we can see there is a strong potential in this country being wasted for lacking the support needed.

    Quote form Nauta360:

    --"Tales II" the Class 40 boat class has been reinforced by Gonzalo Botin and designed by his brother Marcelino. Built by Ximo Lopez at the shipyard "Longitud 0" located in Castellon, has benefited from the coaching of Antonio Piris in its phases of construction and optimization for regatta sailing.
    Barcelona's sailor has beaten rivals sailing on projects up to 500,000 euros, ten times bigger budgets than he has been able to gather from personal funds. The lack of resources meant that, for example, old sails were used during all the race. "Except for a sail used with little wind and a 'spi' which had a few hours of use, the rest are the same we have always used," explained from the ground crew. The group of professionals who surrounded Pella has not seen a euro for their work, but believed in the navigator. All are heavyweights in the world of sailing: Juan Meseguer (sails), Luis Guervós (electronic systems), Nacho Postigo (data tracking and performance), Paul Santurde (construction and captain of Tales II), Carlos Ruigomez (rigging and maneuvers), Iñigo Ortiz (meteorology) and the aforementioned Botín and Piris brothers. Not to mention his partner Lida Martínez, also involved in the project.--

    1. Thanks for the interesting additional information :-)

      but Nauta 360 got it wrong regarding who designed the boat. On the Botin & Partners site, regarding the boat, they are very clear about it:
      "The new custom Class40 has been designed for Gonzalo Botin....Between them and our design team (including as usual Pure Engineering), we have designed and built a highly customized Class40, remarkable in terms of weight saving and detailing. Long hours were spent optimizing some critical areas such as the mast/keel bulkhead and surrounding structure. In order to achieve the smallest possible bulb volume with maximum rule RM, a complex keel structure was engineered. It consists of a central fabricated steel strut, with variable leading and trailing edge lead inserts and lead bullets placed inside the steel cage to fine tune the VCG. A VOR70 style hull to deck chamfer was included forward of the chainplates, to further push the VCG under the inclination test. The goal of minimizing interior weight and VCG to achieve the smallest possible bulb weight, has inevitably made this boats highly refined. The amount of hours spent in this task can be endless and custom prototypes, in spite of significant rule restrictions, are becoming very expensive to build."

  2. I think its designed FOR Gonzalo by his brother Marcelino.

    Pella is a great guy, know him from his Minitransat days.

    1. I am curious. Why do you say the boat was designed for Gonzalo by Marcelino Botin and not by Gonzalo Botin himself? Here on another source, but also from the Botin partners site:

      "The boat was designed by Botin Partners for principal designer Marcelino's brother Gonzalo. It has been project manager Antonio 'Talpi' Piris with a sail programe overseen by Juan Messeguer."

  3. Because Marcelino is a designer, Gonzalo a sailor.

    Keep up this interesting blog...

  4. LOL, it seems you are right! They have modified the site and now it says:
    "The new custom Class40 has been designed for Gonzalo Botin."
    I tried to see if it was a translation error, I mean the boat designed by Gonzalo, but the Botin Partners site is only in English. A bit odd that. Why a Spanish Yacht designer cabinet has not Spanish as one of the languages on their site?