Vuelta a España


From 05 October 2020 to 25 October 2020


This year for the first time, the Challenge is being held along the Spanish coast, as a way to support the recovery of the country after the turmoil caused by COVID-19. In this sixth edition, five women cancer survivors will sail around the Spanish peninsula, linking the ports of Bilbao and Barcelona, with a few stopovers in the cities of Cadiz, Malaga, Cartagena and Valencia. On board the “Green Dragon”, a 72-foot, 14-ton displacement boat, a Volvo Ocean Race V70, the five women chosen for this sixth edition will sail 1,530 nautical miles along the Cantabrian Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.



The 6th edition of the Pelayo Vida Challenge takes this time five Spanish women who have suffered and overcome cancer to the Spanish coasts. Aboard a large V70 from the Volvo Ocean Race, the “Green Dragon”, they will cover more than 1,500 nautical miles in five legs, Bilbao-Cadiz, Cadiz-Malaga, Malaga-Cartagena, Cartagena-Valencia and Valencia-Barcelona. During the journey in the Cantabrian Sea, Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, the challenging Strait of Gibraltar will be crossed to enter Mediterranean waters. The five selected women send a message of hope to women who have suffered from this disease or are currently suffering from it and encourage them to overcome the disease through sports and a proper diet.


This year, the event is taking place in Spain due to the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 319 women cancer survivors have applied. With this sixth edition, 1,093 women have already taken part in the selection trials for Kilimanjaro’2015, Trasatlántica’2016, Polar’2017, Annapurna Bike’2018, Andes’2019 and Vuelta España’2020.

Covering 1,530 nautical miles along the Cantabrian, Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, our five expedition members will have to pilot the V70 and handle the sails to get the ship to port. A unique challenge for five women who have never sailed or set foot on a ship’s deck. We are also supportive, contributing to the Spanish economy by visiting natural sites in our country. Our five sailors will have to face new and demanding experiences and challenges. This expedition has been organised in such a way that the participants are part of the crew; thus, they will have to be on watches every three hours, sleep in shifts in a “warm bed”, while not always having a shower available and taking turns to cook and clean the ship.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I said: "Ok, here we go. Let us go for my personal Ironwoman, the goal being to reach the finish line at each stage."

María, 38, breast cancer

Born in Barakaldo, Vizcaya, Spain.
Head waitress as well as waiter and waitress trainer

The attitude with which you live your life is the only thing that is up to you. Smile, walk and do not stop.

Nuria, 45, breast cancer

Born in Teruel
Marine scientist

Because life goes on, not for everyone, unfortunately, but for those of us who are lucky enough, we start a new, more intense, valuable and conscious life. Now, from a distance, I can see that I was afraid to tell about it.

Marian, 48, breast cancer

Born in Elche

After cancer I learned to enjoy everything: the little things and the great, my loved ones, every single moment. Important stuff and ordinary things. The minutes and the weeks. Overcoming this taught me the meaning of LIVING.

Lorena, 39, breast cancer

Born in Cartagena
Environmental scientist

Cancer came like a hurricane into my life and knocked me down, it trampled on me, it removed my hair, but I fought with the support of my family and friends. In fact, I beat it. Not just once, but twice. It left my body full of scars that help me remember every day that life has to be lived.

Fátima, 55, breast and kidney cancer

Born in Jerez de la Frontera
Restorer of works of art

Ángela Pumariega

Head of the expedition

The 32-year-old Asturian was Olympic champion at the London 2012 Olympic Games, teaming up with Tamara Echegoyen and Sofía Toro, in the Match Race modality, with Elliot 6 class boats. In the 21st Olympiad she was part of the Olympic Sailing Team, in the 470 class, but she did not manage to be the Spanish representative at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. She is currently competing alongside Sofía Toro to qualify for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games. In 2017, she won the Spanish championship in the women’s 470 class. In 2013, she was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit.

  • Premio Juan Sebastián Elcano Ganador 2020