Competition beckons !
Some six months on from completing the Vendée Globe, which culminated in a stellar 8th place, Giancarlo Pedote is preparing to rekindle his ties with competition. This Sunday 8 August, at 10:00 UTC, the skipper of Prysmian Group will take the start of the legendary Rolex Fastnet Race, double-handed with Martin Le Pape, his pairing for the next Transat Jacques Vabre. The race will serve as a platform for the two men to get their bearings together and complete the 695 miles of the course in this 49th edition in a bid to qualify for the famous Coffee Route.
The 49th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race will set off from the Solent in the UK this Sunday. No fewer than 450 boats representing 25 nations will set sail for the famous Fastnet lighthouse, off south-west Ireland, before making for Cherbourg-en-Cotentin in France, where the race finish will be decided for the first time in the event’s history. For Giancarlo Pedote and Martin Le Pape, who will each be taking part in the competition for the second time – the former having participated in the 2019 edition with Anthony Marchand in IMOCA, the latter having competed several years ago in IRC -, it promises to be a tremendous exercise in more ways than one. Firstly, the 695-mile course, which is both comprehensive and complex, will give them a chance to get to know one another better and begin to find a way of working together in double-handed configuration with a view to the Transat Jacques Vabre. “The course, which involves racing to the legendary Fastnet lighthouse and back, with the added bonus this year of a Channel-crossing and then a passage via Le Raz Blanchard renowned for its strong currents, is especially interesting. It will doubtless be a steep learning curve both in terms of the sailing and our pairing”, explains the skipper of Prysmian Group, who is also delighted to get the opportunity to home in on the areas which need improving on for the upcoming season on his boat. “For now, the boat has not had a change of configuration since 2015, but naturally the idea is to power her up so as to establish some precise specifications in this regard”, explains the Italian sailor, who is well aware that in her current condition, over as short a course as the Rolex Fastnet Race, it’s going to be complicated to compete with the latest generation boats.
What’s key right now though, beyond competitive performance, is to qualify for the Transat Jacques Vabre, to continue moving forward and to make progress, as well as to amass as many Likes as possible within the context of the ‘1 click – 1 metre’ operation on Prysmian Océan Racing, which has been set up for the occasion by Prysmian Group in partnership with Electriciens sans Frontières. The project: the electrification of the hamlet of Anjozoro in Babotsy, Madagascar. “Electric power is a fantastic lever for human and economic development. Without access to electricity, it’s difficult to care for yourself, access good quality water, study, create economic activities and make roads safe… To satisfy a population’s energy needs whilst combatting climatic turmoil, the use of renewable energies is an absolute must”, stresses Giancarlo, as he explains that 1,300 metres of cables are needed to succeed in this project. Its aim is to install a photovoltaic system with storage batteries designed to provide power to a large classroom, library, hospital and teacher accommodation, as well as a service point for recharging equipment (telephones, batteries, lamps), street lighting for three village squares using self-sufficient solar-powered street lamps, as well as a refrigerator for the hospital, a television for the school and 80 rechargeable solar-powered lamps for families.