The mental state, a powerful weapon
This Saturday, Giancarlo Pedote and the other leaders of the Vendée Globe are making headway to the north of the high pressure, in a wind which will gradually lift, calling for a series of gybes. The positioning and timing of the gybes will be vital. Managing the small secondary depression to remain in the strong breeze to its east for as long as possible will also be one of the keys to this final section of the course. “Right now, the wind is very shifty. It’s blowing at around 20 knots, peaking at 25 and fluctuating between 170 and 190 degrees, but it is set to veer over the course of the day to establish itself at 220 degrees”, reports the skipper of Prysmian Group. He’s very much aware that the 1,700-mile sprint to reach Les Sables d’Olonne is full of uncertainty and concentration will be crucial at all times right the way to the wire. “You need to keep a clear head. Managing to sleep when possible and striving to manoeuvre cleanly are important as our boats have a lot of miles to their credit now. Within this context, your mental approach is obviously important”, notes the Florentine, who knows that he has left nothing to chance in this regard during his preparation. “I’ve been working for years with Jérôme Drouard, a mental coach. He’s someone who has really given meaning to the performance element and I really want to thank him for all his work alongside me. It’s rare to find people who are fully invested in a project and he’s one of those people”, explains Giancarlo, who has worked extensively to develop his mental and cognitive skills with the aim of optimising his personal performance. “Physically, we train with coaches to be in the best possible physical shape according to our activity. The mental state also needs to be prepared, even if that aspect is more complicated. You have to be able to identify the sticking points, the slightly sensitive points that are a part of every individual. Essentially, it’s all about managing to undo the knots in your brain and allowing for a little flexibility with certain aspects,” underlines Giancarlo Pedote, who will undoubtedly continue to give his absolute all until he crosses the finish line.