Italian skipper Giancarlo Pedote, 43, is preparing for the Rolex Fastnet race on August 3, the next step on his journey to compete in the 2020 Vendée Globe, the only sailing race round the world, solo, non-stop and without assistance at the helm of the IMOCA Prysmian Group. The Vendée Globe race is one of the world’s most demanding sporting events, and Pedote has been organizing for the challenge for a long time.
The Rolex Fastnet will be the second IMOCA Globe Series race of the year for Giancarlo Pedote and Prysmian Group. During the Bermudes 1000 in May, Pedote was forced to dive into the open sea with a mask and flippers, knife in hand, when the keel of his boat was entangled in fishing gear. Facing this sort of unpredicted obstacle on your own is what makes solo sailing so challenging, and is what makes the Vendée Globe such a dangerous race.
When he looked down into the water from the boat, did he experience fear? Of course. But the point is to solve the problem, and not give up, he says.
“Certain charateristics come out when things are going badly,” he says. “Overcoming the difficulty is part of the package. If you can’t overcome difficulty, you can’t be a solo sailor because it doesn’t matter how prepared you are: something unexpected will always happens during navigation.”
He came in third place, just minutes behind second-place finisher Yannick Bestaven, a result he calls “pretty good.” He is being modest, because after the tangle with the fishing net at the start of the race, Pedote made a come-from-behind dash to the finish line that was truly spectacular.