Pedote at Route du Rhum: “I feel like Ungaretti’s soldiers.”


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PedoteA busy first week of racing for Giancarlo Pedote engaged in his first Route de Rhum aboard the Class 40 Fantastica made available to him by owner-patron Lanfranco Cirillo.

After a good start, in the top 10 out of 43 participants in his Class, at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2 (the same day as the start), the foresail hook came loose forcing him to go up to the masthead in 20 knots of wind and a strong sea. “It was impossible to get her off the deck and I had to put on the harness and climb up the mast in more than 20 knots and heavy seas to get her off. Once I got off I had to go to sleep. I was exhausted and had to rest my arms, which were bent in two by cramps,” he recounted the next morning. A problem he managed to solve (“After sleeping for 10 minutes, I went back out on deck. I had managed to put the foresail back on and the boat had started running again. I was off again, tired but determined.”), but this was followed by a further snag that forced him to make a technical stop in Roscoff: inside the boom the borosa had formed a snag that could not be loosened at sea.

12 hours lost between the time he left his trajectory (at about midnight) and the time he was able to re-enter the race (at noon on Monday, Nov. 3). 12 hours that put him back on course for Guadeloupe in virtually last place (behind him only Galfione and Delesne, who were also forced to stop, and three other Class 40s who had to drop out). Tired, having had no time to recover, he set off on a comeback that led him to recover some 20 positions in about 40 hours: by 5:00 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, he was 18th, steadily climbing. The comeback in the rankings was parallel to a physical recovery, but the difficulties for Giancarlo Pedote were not yet over.

The other night the Italian navigator sent this message, “We are finally in the trade wind…away with the oilskin and thermal layers! The Finisterre passage was dangerous because of an AIS failure. In those moments I was thinking of Ungaretti, of ‘his’ Soldiers, and I was repeating to myself, ‘It is as in autumn on the trees the leaves…”. AIS is the tool that allows navigators to display on a monitor ships sailing nearby. Without this instrument, it is necessary to remain vigilant 24 hours a day and observe the navigation field with the naked eye, often in adverse weather conditions. Fortunately, Giancarlo Pedote was able to solve the problem at sea and thus was able to continue his regatta. Nov. 10 at 4 p.m., one week after the resumption of its first Rhum Route, Fantastica is among the fastest in her Class and always making a comeback. The ranking marks her 16th, but reality should be more favorable, since the ranking is calculated on the orthodromic route, which predicts passage near the Azores and thus in an anticyclonic zone notably to be avoided. Giancarlo Pedote was one of the first to identify and choose a southern route, and he is currently in favorable weather conditions compared to those further north. There are still over 2,000 miles to go for the leading Class 40 group. “Past the fear now we move forward with determination, dedication, focus, clarity, speed,” Giancarlo concludes his message. “A hug to all of you, dear friends, from 29N. Giancarlo.”

Meanwhile, among the IMOCA 60s, Alessandro Di Benedetto aboard Team Plastique continues to sail in sixth position, about 1,600 miles from the destination (Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe), while Andrea Mura unfortunately ceded the lead to Anne Casaneuve on Aneo in the Rum category. The Sardinian sailor is 230 miles behind when there are just under 2,000 miles to go. The last word is not said.



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