Serial sailor - Alex Pella

The multi-talented Spaniard

They may be America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Mini Transat, offshore or Olympic sailors or maybe all of the above. Many can be seen on the dock in Cannes for the Régates Royales-Trophée Panerai, and one is the man-of-many-talents Alex Pella.

Alex you won the Route du Rhum on a Class40’, the Jules Verne Trophy with Francis Joyon, you’ve raced the Mini-Transat several times, how is it to be racing a classic yacht?
“It’s a family boat, an old racer-cruiser called Galvana.  With my three brothers we often sail her, it’s a boat built in 1974 in Barcelona on a Sparkman & Stephens’s design. We cruise in the Med or we take part in regattas like the Régates Royales de Cannes. Since it is older than thirteen years, we can also do the classic yachts circuit, and with some good results too! I’m quite busy and I can’t go to all the events, I’ve saved some  free time to be here and have some fun with my brothers.”

A family boat
We did some works  ourselves in 2003. It’s a very solid boat, built in the 70’s by a small shipyard that produced some 120 boats: Galvana is very good, with an American flavour but really comfortable. It crossed the Atlantic but didn’t race much because it’s really a racer-cruiser with a high freeboard. Anyway, it is quite fast compared to the new boats of  the same size.”

Here in Cannes your race in the Bermudan Vintage class?
“Yes exactly, we race against other IOR boats like
Ganbare, Resolute Salmon or the maxi Il Moro di Venezia, against the 12 Metre like France or  ChanceggerWe haven’t got the best rating but at least Galvana is very comfortable. We try to do like four races every year: I’ve done a short offshore race in Spain, we were in Mahon, we’re here for the Régates Royales, and we’ll close the season with the Voiles de Saint-Tropez… »

But then you’re starting for another transatlantic race!
“Right, I will not be in Saint-Tropez because I will join Lalou Roucayrol on his Multi50 for the Transat Jacques Vabre.  As a fact, I’m taking over from Karine Fauconnier who hurt herself. It’s a new challenge for me because it’s only a month I sail with Lalou: it’s fun, the boat feels like a kart! It’s small, uncomfortable, but less physical than IDEC Sport and very fast with the new foils.”

Technical specs Galvana :
Design: Sparkman & Stephens
Shipyard: Astilleros Caravela (1975)
LOA: 16,65 m
LWL: 12,46 m
Beam: 4,33 m
Draft: 2,80 m
Displacement: 20 000 kg
Sail area: 110 sq. m