Alex Pella presents the ‘Desafío Victoria’, “the culmination of years of preparation and passion for sailing”


The Spanish oceanic sailor Alex Pella is going to once again face a new sporting challenge that he has called ‘Desafío Victoria’, which will aim to achieve the absolute record for the circumnavigation to the West and which is “the culmination of years of preparation and passion for the navegation”.

Pella, who already has the record of going around the world to the East, the Jules Verne Trophy, now wants to get the ‘Elcano Oceanic Trophy’, with a non-stop route around the planet, against the prevailing wind and currents, emulating what Ferdinand Magellan did and completed by the Spanish Juan Sebastián Elcano 500 years ago.

This project will take Alex Pella and his crew across the most demanding oceans in the world with the mission of doing it in a hundred days to improve the current mark of 122. The Spanish sailor will depart in 2025 from Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz) and It will pass through Cape Horn, the Strait of Torres, the Cape of Good Hope and the Azores, before arriving back at the Cadiz town. As indicated by the ‘Victory Challenge’, presented on Tuesday night, the route must be completed without stops or external assistance for it to be approved by the World Sailing Speed ​​Record Council (WSSRC).

“The ‘Victory Challenge’ project represents the culmination of years of preparation and passion for sailing. It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of the great maritime explorers and carry out this historic adventure in a sustainable way,” Pella stressed.

In total, this challenge will be made up of four different challenges. First, Pella and his crew will seek the ‘Vuelta a Menorca Record’ in May and later the ‘Vuelta a España Record’, leaving from Bilbao and finishing in Barcelona in July. At the end of 2024, they will pursue the ‘Discovery Route Record’, starting in Huelva, stopping in La Gomera and arriving at the island of San Salvador, before tackling, in 2025, the trip around the world sailing towards the west.


The Catalan will do it aboard the ‘Maxicat Victoria’, a multihull recovered after 25 years of history; which is propelled solely by the energy of the wind, waves and currents; and that is supported by the use of renewable energies such as wind and photovoltaic solar. In addition, the journey will be without Co2 emissions, and without waste to underline the importance of sustainability.

For this reason, this boat, which is 33 meters long, 17 meters wide and 41 meters wide, will also be used as a platform for dissemination, awareness and knowledge about the protection of the oceans.

And alongside Pella, considered the best Spanish oceanic sailor of this century and with more than 400,000 nautical miles traveled in his more than 20 years as a professional, there will be three other sailors who will contribute their experience and knowledge to this adventure.

Frenchman Lalou Roucayrol, known for his two decades of high-level racing experience and for his prowess in multihull sailing, particularly in the trimaran class. “I have the challenge of going around the world completely, so when Alex proposed that I join the project, I accepted without hesitation, especially because the project goes far beyond the sporting aspect and coincides perfectly with my convictions about the vision of our world,” he said.

For their part, Alejandro Cantero (20 years old) from the Canary Islands and Alberto Muñoz (21 years old) from Alicante will contribute their youth and energy. “I have been linked to the sea since I was little and I have always been motivated by challenges and great challenges. This project represents sailing and seeking the best performance of the boat, but it also involves a technical part and preparation to face so much time at sea, which I am also passionate about,” Muñoz warned.

“My dream has always been to go around the world, but I never thought the opportunity would come so soon. I have always been very interested in doing things that few people have done and going around the world to the west is the perfect opportunity” , Cantero added.

In addition, the ‘Desafío Victoria’ project will also try to serve as a platform for environmental education and awareness about the environmental challenges facing the oceans and the planet. In this way, the implementation of the principles of circular and regenerative economy will be addressed by the Professor of Applied Circular Economy and Regenerative Economics at Harvard, Manuel Maqueda.

“By integrating sustainable practices and circular economy principles into all stages of the project, the ‘Victory Challenge’ demonstrates a commitment to preserving the environment and promoting a responsible navigation model that seeks to minimize its impact on marine ecosystems. The team will strive to maximize the energy efficiency of the vessel and its systems. During the voyage, rigorous waste management protocols will be implemented to minimize the environmental impact,” highlighted Maqueda.