Having already participated in the Transat Jacques Vabre twice before (1rst in 2015 with Erwan Le Roux in Multi50 then in 2017 with Fabrice Amedeo in IMOCA), Giancarlo Pedote is once again preparing to take the start of the event. Like the last edition, the Italian sailor will be competing in the 60-foot IMOCA category, but this time he’ll be at the helm of his Verdier VPLP design in the colours of Prysmian Group, (a boat that holds the race title with Jean-Pierre Dick and Yann Eliès) and the NGO Electriciens sans frontiers (Electricians without borders). His teammate? A talented sailor and a stalwart of the demanding Figaro Bénéteau circuit, he too equipped with a steel will and extraordinary determination: Anthony Marchand, 3rd in the Solitaire du Figaro in the colours of the Royer Group. The decision was entirely natural, the two men sharing common human values and the same logic in terms of performance in the Rolex Fastnet and the Transat Jacques Vabre.
Following a great start to the year, taking his new 60-foot IMOCA
In hand and setting up his team, as well as posting his first promising results with a fine 3rd place in the Bermudes 1000 Race and performing a general overhaul of the boat that was completed on 1 July, Giancarlo Pedote has just returned from a well-earned break and is preparing to get back into ‘race’ mode. Indeed, on 3 August 2019, the skipper of Prysmian Group will line up for the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race, the second of three events this season that count towards the IMOCA Globe Series. On the programme is a course spanning a total of 608 miles between Cowes and Plymouth, via the legendary Fastnet rock. “This will be the perfect opportunity to get to know my teammate better and gives us a chance to get our bearings together, as well as rack up a few miles with a view to qualification for the Vendée Globe”, explains Giancarlo, who is delighted at the prospect of sharing the next Transat Jacques Vabre with a sailor of Anthony Marchand’s calibre. “We’ve been crossing tacks for a long time and we got to know each other a little better when I sold my foiling Moth to him. We really hit it off in human terms. He’s someone who’s very hands on, who gets a real feel for things on a practical and spiritual level and has a competitive spirit. We’re on the same wavelength and that’s important to me, more so than someone’s list of accolades, though inevitably its enriching to sail with such a rigorous sailor”, explains the Italian. Of course, he’s also well aware that the experience gained by his associate, particularly in his successful Figaro Bénéteau campaign, that included a 2nd and 3rd place in the last two Solitaires, will be a substantial asset in performing well in the 4,350-mile Coffee Route course between Le Havre and Salvador de Bahia.
The same mindset, the same eye for performance
“I’m very confident. I’m super happy with the way things are going with us. The Rolex Fastnet Race will give us a chance to get to know each other a bit better. On a personal level, I’m setting sail with the same mindset as I had in the Bermudes 1000 Race Douarnenez – Brest back in May, because my primary objective is obviously to complete the race so as to rack up miles for the Vendée Globe qualification, but I also intend to go on the attack”, stresses Giancarlo. His co-skipper echoes this sentiment. “It’s primarily a training race and the important thing is to finish, but obviously we’re hoping to be in with a shout of a good place”, assures Anthony, who contrary to his associate, has already participated in the famous Fastnet Race once before. As such, he knows that there are numerous pitfalls in the event, since it groups together a large number of boats with very different speeds, the weather may well be very fickle along the course and the southern coast of England generally has a lot of surprises in store with its strong currents and the various repercussions of that. “It’s going to be a bit like a Figaro race, which I won’t be sorry about, but above all I’m delighted to have the opportunity to continue to get to know Giancarlo and his boat, which really is a fantastic machine. The idea of getting involved in an IMOCA project has been going around by head for a while now. The Transat Jacques Vabre will be a great experience in this regard, especially alongside Giancarlo”, assures Anthony.
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