Tests on the IMOCA boat successfully completed. Sustainability and social commitment at the centre of the project thanks to the partnership with Electriciens Sans Frontières.
Prysmian Group confirms its commitment to sailing. A long history of success dating back to 2007 that has led the Group — world leader in the energy and telecom cables and systems industry — to realise its project to participate in 2020, along with skipper Giancarlo Pedote, in the Vendée Globe, the world's most challenging non-stop solo ocean race around the world, without docking or assistance.
In addition to the Vendée Globe competition, the project calls for participation in a series of preparatory races, in which Giancarlo Pedote will compete aboard an IMOCA 60 with foils. The first tests in the water have been successfully completed in recent days and the boat is ready to face the forthcoming challenges.
Thanks to the international reach of the project and the popularity of these sporting competitions, Prysmian Group will be able to raise awareness on and strengthen its brand throughout the world, particularly in the main geographical areas in which it operates, such as Europe and the Americas.
“Sailing embodies Prysmian’s values, such as confidence, ambition and the continual search for new challenges, and at the same time represents the wind and the renewable energies that are the future of our business,” stated Valerio Battista, Prysmian Group CEO. “Giancarlo Pedote will be Prysmian’s ambassador in the world and we are proud of the partnership with Electriciens sans frontières with whom we share a commitment to promote the development of local communities through access to energy.”
The initiative represents more than just an athletic endeavour. Thanks to the involvement of Electriciens sans frontières, an international NGO that develops international humanitarian projects aimed at bridging disparities in access to electricity and water worldwide and at promoting the economic and social development of populations that are more in need or impacted by natural disasters, in particular through renewable energy, Prysmian Group and Giancarlo Pedote are making the values of sustainability and social commitment the project's focal point.
“Today access to energy is recognised by the UN as one of its sustainable development goals," commented Hervé Gouyet, President of Electriciens sans frontières. "Access to clean, safe and affordable energy is essential to eradicating poverty, improving education and health conditions and ensuring economic development and food security. Through the supply of electrical cables, the partnership with Prysmian Group allows Electriciens sans frontières to enhance its ability to take action aimed at promoting access to energy. In many situations, a power cable is the thread that keeps the lights shining and gives hope."
Prysmian Group and Giancarlo Pedote, a partnership that has lasted over ten years
The partnership between Prysmian Group and Giancarlo Pedote dates back to over ten years ago. Together they have achieved important victories and results aboard several types of boat, such as: second place at the 2013 Mini Transat, two first places in the Mini class world ranking, two medals “Champion de France Promotion Course au Large en Solitaire”, two awards as “Sailor of the Year”.
Through their participation in the Vendée Globe, Prysmian Group and Giancarlo Pedote are now rising to a new challenge of more than just a sporting nature, becoming ambassadors to the world of the positive values that set them apart.
“Life is a story. Very often this story intersects with other stories. My story has intersected with that of Prysmian Group,” commented skipper Giancarlo Pedote. “I have been racing with Prysmian since 2007. This bond of trust fills me with a deep sense of pride in sailing aboard the boat of a company that has grown so much since 2005, and has offered me the opportunity to grow as well. Now, being able to take part in such an ambitious project together with a company that I saw be founded and rise so high fills me with great enthusiasm and the sense of being a part of something”.
Vendée Globe: the Everest of the oceans
Considered the world's toughest race, the Vendée Globe is a pure trial of physical, emotional and mental endurance. It consists of a solo trip around the world (with full circumnavigation of the Antarctic), without being allowed to dock or receive external assistance, beginning and ending at the French port of Les Sables-d'Olonne in the Pays de la Loire region. It is a race with a peculiar charm that until now has seen few Italian participants: in the second edition of 1992-1993, Vittorio Malingri, who unfortunately was unable to finish due to a broken rudder; in 2000-2001, Simone Bianchetti, who finished in 12th place, and Pasquale Di Gregorio, who finished 15th; and in 2012-2013 Alessandro Di Benedetto, who achieved the best Italian result of all time at 11th place.
Prysmian Group and Electriciens sans frontières
Prysmian Group has been collaborating with the NGO Electriciens sans frontières since 2016 through the donation of cables for numerous initiatives pursued by the organisation, which currently boasts approximately 1,300 volunteers spread across over 140 projects in 35 countries.
Prysmian Group donated electrical cables to the projects Saponé in Burkina Faso and Meru Children’s Home in Kenya, which improved conditions of access to energy for local communities.
Prysmian Group has also supported the construction of numerous photovoltaic installations: in the town of Point-Sofia, Madagascar, to power two elementary schools, a college and a healthcare facility; in the village of Chiulo, Angola, to resolve the local hospital's severe energy shortage; and in Palermo, Italy, to provide electricity to a facility that is home to approximately one hundred individuals in situations of adversity.