Pedal to the metal !
Setting sail from Lorient yesterday afternoon at the stroke of 1 for the main race in the 9th Défi Azimut (665 miles), Giancarlo Pedote and Anthony Marchand have been making the most of what have been solid conditions since the start for ticking off the miles at a fair old lick. Indeed, posting an average speed bordering on 20 knots, the two men on Prysmian Group (and their media woman) passed the first course waypoint at the top of the Arcachon basin midway through last night, then the second offshore of the north-west tip of Brittany early afternoon this Friday. Slightly ahead (around two hours) of their initial schedule, they now have less than 200 miles to go. Though there is significant separation between the fleet, which is currently strewn across more than 150 miles of ocean, the duo is currently midway up the leader board, just fifty miles or so shy of the leaders, jockeying for position in a group of eight boats bunched within ten miles of one another. It’s wet aboard the boat, which translates as a high pace. There’s no question of throttling back though, despite the fatigue amassed over the past 24 hours, particularly given the fact that the wind is still forecast to ease as it shifts round to the south. This should open up the playing field a bit more on a tactical level, which must surely appeal to the Italian sailor and his associate, who are expected to cross the finish line late morning tomorrow.