Guillermo Altadill

Hugo Boss

Few sailors have a CV as long and as diverse as Guillermo Altadill. Over the course of his career, the 51 years old Spaniard from Girona, has set out, incredibly, to sail around the world nine times, including four Volvo Ocean Races.

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43 years old - Barcelona - ESPAGNE

Few sailors have a CV as long and as diverse as Guillermo Altadill. Over the course of his career, the 51 years old Spaniard from Girona, has set out, incredibly, to sail around the world nine times, including four Volvo Ocean Races. This winter he will be embarking on his tenth in the Barcelona World Race.Altadill originally heralds from Barcelona and comes from a sailing family. Life afloat started with his parents when he was aged six, but he was soon drawn into racing on his own right, first in Optimist dinghies, then aboard the Vaurien doublehander, which provided his first opportunities to racing at major international championships.

His career as an Olympic hopeful began in 1979 aboard the Finn dinghy, which he stuck with tenaciously for eight years, even though Altadill admits he doesn’t have the man mountain build required to be successful in the heavyweight men’s Olympic dinghy. He then swapped Olympic classes, initially campaigning a Soling keel boat before moving into the Tornado catamaran over the course of the 1990s.

While Altadill attempted to make the Spanish team for the Olympic Games as a sailor unsuccessfully on five occasions, he has nonetheless been to the Games five times in other roles, most significantly as coach for the Tornado sailors Fernando Echavarri and Anton Paz when they won gold at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996.

Altadill’s career during this time was far from limited to Olympic sailing. He took part in his first offshore race in 1987 and ended up competing in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race aboard the Spanish entry Fortuna. This has since led to him competing in three more fully crewed round the world races, on the potent Spanish Volvo 60 Galicia 93 Pescanova four years later, finishing second on ASSA ABLOY in 2001-2 and then in the 2005 Volvo Ocean Race aboard Ericsson.

But in terms of round the world racing Altadill has had more success in multihulls. In 2000 he joined the elite squad led by present day Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton on Club Med, when they won The Race, non-stop around the world. He was then part of the late Steve Fossett’s crew on the giant catamaran Cheyenne that set a new non-stop round the world record in 2004.

Doesn’t he get bored of sailing round the world? “Each time I like it more,” Altadill admits without hesitation. “I think non-stop is still the best way. It is easier for people to understandable and more challenging for the crew as well.”

Other round the world voyages of Altadill’s have been less successful, including another attempt on the non-stop record with Dame Ellen MacArthur, that ended up in dismasting mid-Southern Ocean, and also the first Barcelona World Race with American Jonathan McKee aboard Estrella Damm that came to an end in Cape Town.

He finished 2nd in the 2014-15 Barcelona World Race with Chilean co-skipper José Munoz.

While Altadill’s experience in the IMOCA 60 to date has been double handed, either in the Barcelona World Race or with Alex Thomson when they finished second, beating many newer boats home, in the 2011 Transat Jacques Vabre, he has yet to race one single handed. He says he is contemplating this as a swan song to his career: “I would like to do my last race around the world singlehanded. I would love to finish my sailing career with a Vendée Globe.”

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Prizes

1999
  • Rolex Fasnet Race – 2nd
2001
  • Around the world record without step over – 62 days
  • The Race – Winner
  • Rolex Sydney Hobart – Winner
2003
  • Jules Verne Trophy
  • Volvo Ocean Race – 2nd
2006
  • Volvo Ocean Race
2008
  • Barcelona World Race – Retired (J. McKee)
2009
  • Rolex Fastnet Race
  • Volvo Ocean Race
2011
  • Transat Jacques Vabre – 2nd (A. Thomson)
  • Transatlantic Race – 3rd (Leopard 3)
2013
  • Sydney Hobart – Winner
2015
  • Transat Jacques Vabre – Retired (A. Thomson)
  • Barcelona World Race – 2nd (J. Muñoz)
Guillermo Altadill

Monocoque IMOCA

IMOCA60 Hugo Boss