As close as possible to the Great Circle route
After setting sail from Saint Malo early yesterday afternoon, Giancarlo Pedote and the 137 other sailors in the 12th Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe have had a pretty active first few miles with a certain number of tack changes on the programme, as well as having to deal with the fluctuations in the breeze and the ebb and flow of the current. “We didn’t get any sleep during the first night at sea. We’ve had quite a bit on our plates between the start, the passage of the Cap Fréhel gate and the rounding of the north-west tip of Brittany this morning,” commented the skipper of Prysmian Group, who took a while to decide which strategy to adopt in the Iroise Sea. Chenal du Four, outside Ushant or the Fromveur Passage? In the end the Italian sailor opted for the latter option. “The aim was to make the most of the current. Right now, I’m heading southwards to benefit from a wind shift and avoid getting too close to an area of strong, violent winds to the west,” explained the Florentine, who is currently powering along in 8th place in the IMOCA ranking, just below the direct route, jostling for position with Benjamin Dutreux, Isabelle Josckhe, Guirec Soudée, as well as Yannick Bestaven, winner of the last Vendée Globe. “It’s a real pleasure to be alone at sea again. Given that it’s quite breezy, we’re having to quickly get our bearings again and I’m doing pretty well so far,” enthuses Giancarlo, well aware that the competition is wide open, with several options on the cards. He’s also well aware that he’ll have to be in good shape tomorrow, as the first cold front rolls through, which is set to generate gusts of up to 45 knots on heavy seas. “I ate a good freeze-dried vegan meal yesterday evening and I had a good breakfast this morning,” assured the skipper, who’s clearly in great shape and still absolutely determined to do his very best.