Giancarlo’s World: Pedote cooks and goes on the attack in the great South


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Giancarlo Pedote seems to be in good spirits. He sails, he cooks, he writes, he lives the dream he has pursued for so many years and is fulfilling these days: to be on an Imoca 60 and take part in the Vendée Globe, the round-the-world nonstop, unassisted voyage. After 18 days of racing for Prysmian Group and its skipper, it’s time for the first balance sheets and to figure out how to prepare for the Big South, which is now just around the corner.

Pedote’s regatta so far has been “clean.” One only has to look at his course to see that there were no major overshoots and that the Italian skipper was always quite in phase with the wind rotations and the passage of weather systems, although perhaps not as surgical in certain situations as others have been. Constant, regular, quick when he could, cautious when he had to. It is no mystery that this world tour for Giancarlo is a kind of big official rehearsal for more ambitious future projects.

Pedote in one of his board recipes

For this reason, the Florentine skipper has decided that in some situations he will be cautious and reason more as a sailor than as a racer when the weather becomes very harsh. He did not set out with the goal of winning the Vendée Globe, partly because his boat has a lower gear than the new foilers, and ranking is not his main focus, as he told us during our lengthy interview. In the depression Theta chose a softer passage than those leading the race, was cautious to safeguard the boat, but then showed that he knows how to push hard when in the trade wind he often sailed above 450 miles in the 24 hours. Pedote is a racer and has certainly not forgotten how to go fast; he is certainly not cruising around the world. But he knows, he is aware, that he has to take the right risks. He has earned this opportunity tooth and nail, and he knows that if he wants to be more ambitious in the future first he has to get the boat to the finish line.

Prysmian’s wake during one of the depressions meet

In these weeks we have also learned about other aspects of Giancarlo, the human side and also that of the thinker, philosopher and writer. His shipboard diaries published by Corriere della Sera are wonderful, where Giancarlo reflects on his fears, his relationship with his children and his wife, and tells of the daily wonder that the spectacle of the sea offers him. A Pedote always enthusiastic about everything around him, less shy than usual in front of the camera, often engaged in entertaining cooking recipes that seem to put him in a particularly good mood.

Inside Prysmian Group

What bothered him a lot, in addition to the first two initial depressions where he appeared decidedly worried, was the lull inside the St. Helena anticyclone. “If the boat is going slow I can’t sleep, if I’m going fast it’s the best way to get sleep,” Giancarlo recounted in one of the messages from aboard.

This morning, however, he seems decidedly more heartened: “A gift! A wind more or less consistent with the forecast of the Grib files, sometimes even higher. It’s good because when it’s not, we ask a lot of questions, we constantly question strategic choices, sail choices…. Now, however, the situation is clear: we have picked up speed and are grinding out miles to the south, heading southeast.”

The detail of Prysmian’s position, just downwind we find Hugo Boss, the two fastest boats in the fleet right now


And in efect from the rankings comes definitely good news. Prysmian Group in the last few hours is, along with the revived Hugo Boss, the fastest boat in the fleet. The descent to the Big South has begun to straddle a front that will push the group at high speeds to the southeast. Prysmian is detected at 20.3 knots with an average of 18.4 in the last 4 hours. Better than him only Hugo Boss with an average of 18.5. Pedote is now in 10th position, 646 miles behind leader Charlie Dalin on Apivia. A lonely leader at the moment: Ruyant trudges with only one foil to get out of the anticyclone and pays as much as 262 miles behind. Third is the stainless Le Cam, which continues to focus on a more direct route without investing south in the front as everyone else has done. We will soon find out who was right.

Mauro Giuffrè



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