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Giancarlo Pedote and Anthony Marchand competing together in the Transat Jacques Vabre

by Giancarlo Pedote 21 Sep 10:56 BST 27 October 2019
Imoca Prysmian - Giancarlo Pedote © Francois Van Malleghem

Without mutual trust and without a shared vision, there is no performance! That's something that Giancarlo Pedote and Anthony Marchand have a firm grasp of.

In this way, over the past few weeks, the two men, who are competing together in the next edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre aboard the 60-foot IMOCA in the colours of Prysmian Group, have been working hard on this aspect.

This involves gearing their efforts around some clear principles, such as establishing a consensus around the rules of the game, associating each of them with a common goal, inspiring a spirit of solidarity and also valuing unique qualities. It's about creating events to forge a bond too. In this regard, the recent Tour de Bretagne à la Voile in which they competed aboard the Figaro Bénéteau 3 in the colours of the Groupe Royer - Secours Populaire was a great success, both competitively, with a Top 10 place at the finish, and particularly in human terms. Today, the duo is wholly united, very much in phase with one another and enjoying complete mutual understanding. Right now then, the two sailors will be focusing all their efforts on the technical aspect of the project, starting on Wednesday, with the Défi Azimut in Lorient.

"The human factor is very important in an exercise such as a transatlantic race, like the Jacques Vabre, which lasts for 12 to 14 days. You mustn't neglect it. For me it's something I cherish as I'm passionate about what I do", explains Giancarlo Pedote, who knows only too well that it's not enough to rack up just a few good elements to form a winning team.

"If the duo isn't united, it doesn't work", adds the Italian sailor, who is well aware that to make a duo efficient, you need to breathe life into it, along with a sense of desire, a dream, an organisation, a rhythm, sharing, emotion and a story. "Since July, Anthony and I have learnt to be in tune with our five senses when we're sailing together", adds the skipper of Prysmian Group, who doesn't necessarily work the same way as his associate, but has no doubt about the fact that complementary qualities boost efficiency.

"The Rolex Fastnet Race, the delivery trips between Brittany and England, the short day sails we've linked together, as well as the Tour de Bretagne à la Voile we've just completed on the Figaro circuit, which forced us to prepare the nav, enter waypoints, load grib files and discuss strategy every day, have all enabled us to find a rhythm and an alchemy that works for us", explains the Italian.

The human and also the technical aspect

"I'm really happy because today the good understanding we have between us is definitely one of the strengths of our pairing. It's an important point because when you're at sea, and especially so in a race, you're not just sharing a job. It's a lot more than that as you're together 24/7, and you have good and more difficult time to face up to. As such, on a personal level, I think it's key to have someone aboard with the same desire to share, who invests their time in the same way and is positive", explains Giancarlo.

Mobilising energies around a shared project is something that Giancarlo and Anthony have already nailed since the start of their association. As such, the time is ripe to concentrate all their energies on the technical aspects of the project, which are pretty much endless on an IMOCA.

"Between now and the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the idea is to continue perfecting the manœuvres, to manage to quickly reach the boat's target speeds and to continue to learn about the boat, particularly in breezy conditions, so that we're fully confident in the machine. At the same time, there's obviously a fair amount of work to do to fine tune the electronics and computers. The 60-foot IMOCAs are cutting-edge boats so they're very complicated. There's a massive amount to do and it's not that easy for a small team like ours, but obviously we're putting all our energy into making that happen", concludes Giancarlo Pedote, who's delighted to be participating in the Défi Azimut this week so as he can size up the very different ace configurations, in double-handed and crewed format, during speed runs and offshore sprints, as well as discover some of the class' new boats.

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