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Published on 28/05/2020

A launch with the promise of fresh horizons!

– Learning to be at one with your boat, singlehanded and independently
– A full-scale test: The Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d’Olonne on 4 July
– Prysmian Group signed up for the next Vendée Globe

In the world of sport, as in sailing, the resumption of activity is only in its early stages. This Wednesday in Lorient, Italian skipper Giancarlo Pedote, who is signed up for the next Vendée Globe, was able to launch his IMOCA Prysmian Group. Also proudly flying the flag for the Electriciens sans Frontières association, the boat has spent the past few months undergoing a major overhaul and a few structural modifications. Right now though, it’s time for some on-the-water training to validate the various changes with a view to the upcoming meetings on the sports schedule.

Continuing to make progress and honing one’s skills in solo format
For nearly 3 months, the reduced workforce has been taking it in turns to work on the IMOCA with the utmost care. Indeed, following last year’s Transat Jacques Vabre, the boat has undergone an extended refit as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This extra time in the yard has naturally enabled work initially scheduled for this summer to be undertaken in advance.      Right now though, it’s time for some sailing out on the water in a bid to further tame the racing machine in solo format. “Today, 80% of the boat is in Vendée Globe configuration. The idea is to validate the work undertaken this winter. Once it’s all systems go again, we’ll be looking to confirm the various sailing configurations relating to the battery, autopilot and calibration of the instruments. The aim over the coming months is to make the boat reliable. The technical teams and outside experts will help to ensure things run smoothly.”

A modified schedule
With the cancellation of the two major transatlantic races scheduled for the start of the season between Brest (FR) and Charleston (USA) and the New York (USA) – Vendée (FR), IMOCA has since managed to rejig the programme and offer a different race: The Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d’Olonne, which involves a new 3,600-mile race in singlehanded configuration and a big triangular circuit of the North Atlantic, starting and finishing in Les Sables d’Olonne in France via one waypoint to the north of the Arctic circle and another at the Azores. “The race has a dual meaning for me. Indeed, the sporting aspect will be important as it will serve as a way of validating the hours spent working on the boat this winter and my training sessions with a view to the Vendée Globe in November. Equally, the inclusive aspect is key as I will endeavour to get the maximum number of employees from Prysmian Group and Electriciens sans frontières involved in what is a singlehanded human adventure to the remote northern latitudes”. 

Signed up for the Vendée Globe
In early May, the Vendée Globe organisation notified the team at Prysmian Group that its registration for this major solo round the world race had been accepted. “I’ve been working towards this objective for many years. As such, I feel a sense of accomplishment at being able to launch into the next stage. My focus now is going to be to put everything in place to ensure the project is ready to go on 8 November and I will battle as hard as I can to make the finish line with the best possible ranking”.