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Skipper Giancarlo Pedote starts his grueling trek to qualify for the Vendée Globe

Prysmian Group and French NGO Electriciens sans frontiers join forces on land – and now, on sea


Italian skipper Giancarlo Pedote’s journey to qualify for the 2020 Vendée Globe round-the-world solo sailing race started in earnest on May 9, when he set sail from northern France with 16 other rivals in the Bermudes 1000 race at the helm of the Prysmian Group IMOCA 60, joined by Electriciens sans frontières.

Pedote’s goal this year and next is to complete in enough sailing miles to qualify for the Vendée Globe, also known as “The Everest of the Sea” for its extreme test of individual endurance. The Bermudes 1000 is a sprint across 2,000 miles of the Atlantic, starting from Brittany in France, past the Fastnet lighthouse at the tip of Ireland and then on to the Azores and back.

In order to clinch one of the 30 places in the Vendée Globe – which UK newspaper The Independent has called “the toughest race in all of sport” -- Pedote needs to pass a selection based on the number of miles he sails this year in the three IMOCA Globe Series, the first of which is the Bermudes 1000.  



It will be my first round-the-world trip and what I need above all is humility,” said Florence-born Pedote, 43, in an interview with Giornale della Vela magazine. “What I’ve learned in life, in my career, is to learn by making mistakes.

Pedote’s collaboration with Prysmian began in 2007. For the Vandée Globe project, his IMOCA 60 also carries the logo of Electriciens sans frontières. Founded in 1986, this NGO is focused on the transmission and delivery of power to developing countries and communities afflicted by catastrophes. To date, the organization employs over 1,200 volunteers distributed in 136 projects across 35 countries. Prysmian last year supported Electriciens sans frontières by donating cables for its numerous projects around the globe.

"I have the incredible good fortune to have the same partner, the Prysmian Group, since I started out in offshore racing. Twelve years of unstinting support is a huge asset. For my Vendée Globe they are with me all the way,” he said in an article posted on the Vendée Globe website.

Pedote and Prysmian decided to join forces for the Vendée Globe challenge with Electriciens sans frontières with a clear goal in mind: to highlight the NGO’s fight against economic inequality by providing access to water and electricity around the world. When it comes to electricity, Prysmian and ESF are natural partners.

Prysmian and Pedote have both come a long way together since 2007. Now Prysmian and Electriciens sans frontières will accompany Pedote as he faces the greatest challenge in sailing.  Pedote would be the fifth Italian to compete.

"Sailing expresses Prysmian’s values, like trust, ambition and a continuous search for new challenges,Prysmian CEO Valerio Battista explained. “At the same time, sailing represents the wind and the renewable energies that are the future of our business. Giancarlo Pedote will be Prysmian’s world ambassador and we are proud to partner with Electriciens sans frontières with which we share the common goal of promoting development to local communities through access to energy.

Many people are not aware that 1.1 billion people around the world do not have access to electricity. ESF tries to remedy this huge obstacle to prosperity by prioritizing electrification of public services wherever possible, often focusing on schools.  For example, it was asked by a Senegalese charity to electrify a public primary school for 347 children in the village of M’Bomboye.  ESG took charge of the design and installation of a solar lighting system for the school. Over 80% of the NGO’s projects use renewable energy.

"Access to energy is recognized by the UN as one of the sustainable development goals,” Electriciens sans frontières President Hervé Gouyet. “Clean, safe and secure energy is essential to overcome poverty, improve health and education, promote a healthy diet and deliver economic growth. Our collaboration con Prysmian Group, through a supply of electric cables, enables Electriciens sans frontières to improve its ability to increase the access to energy. In many cases, an electric cable is the thread that offers a light to shine and give hope.


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