Meticulous preparation of the boat
Giancarlo Pedote is all too aware: a large part of the success of a project like a Vendée Globe lies in how one prepares for it. That’s why the Italian sailor has invested body and soul for the past year and a half, not to mention his time and his energy, into developing and improving his steed and making her reliable and safe. “I think that 80% of the race is decided on shore, in the build-up to the event. If your final preparation is timed to perfection and you have a perfect boat, you’re minimising the likelihood of having a hard time of it at sea, even though you know that you’ll have to deal with unforeseen events whatever you do”, explains the skipper of Prysmian Group, who has ensured that he has all the technical details of his project covered as a result. “When you set sail on a round the world for the first time, you can’t test everything because you don’t know exactly what awaits you. And even when you’re attacking your second or third circumnavigation, there are still lots of unknowns because you’ve often changed boat and the conditions are not the same. To put it plainly, you see things in a whole new light each time. As such, on a personal level, the key is ensuring the machine is reliable”, explains Giancarlo, who made the most of the day yesterday – the final one before this latest phase of general lockdown on French soil – to have one final sail before the big day of the start scheduled for 8 November at 13:02 local time. “The guys in the team have worked hard on the boat since our arrival in Les Sables d’Olonne and we were keen to validate the things that have been worked on as we know that, on our machines, the tiniest detail can immediately generate a whole raft of problems”, concludes the sailor, who gave the boat a clean bill of health yesterday and is looking quietly confident with one week to go until the day of the start.