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Sailing Holidays 2019 - TOP

Vendée Globe 2020: An inclusive spirit

by Giancarlo Pedote 28 Mar 10:25 GMT 8 November 2020
IMOCA Prysmian Group, entrainement au large de Lorient pour participation à la Transat Jacques Vabre 2019, skipper, Giancarlo Pedote © Yvan Zedda

Giancarlo Pedote's Vendée Globe project is based on the #4PEOPLE concept, a value shared with the sponsors Prysmian Group and Electriciens sans frontières.

This concept can be summed up in the statement by Hervé Gouyet, President of Electriciens sans frontières: "By sharing our energy and our efforts, we can satisfy our objective to showcase inclusive projects on a solo round the world campaign."

During this time, it is easier to gauge just how important electricity is in our lives: for powering mobile phones, enabling us to work or stay in contact with our nearest and dearest, as well as for powering life-saving medical equipment.

Connecting with people and helping those in difficulty is the embodiment of the #4PEOPLE project supported by the skipper Giancarlo Pedote on the IMOCA Prysmian Group, who is continuing to prepare for the next Vendée Globe.

"To be #4PEOPLE, for me and my partners, is essentially about all standing by people who are in need of it, who need energy and drinking water. This is the main objective of the NGO Electriciens sans frontiers (Electricians without borders), whom Prysmian Group has invited to accompany us in this Vendée Globe campaign. We must all protect ourselves and protect our nearest and dearest, every day, particularly at this time. When protecting means sticking to the measures outlined and taking all the necessary precautions, I say StayHome".

I'm staying at home, but that doesn't mean stopping living

Confinement is definitely a novel experience for the majority of people. "During a time, when there is an abundance of communication and reflection, it may be worthwhile to take a step back and looking at what's going on. Observing one's reactions, one's emotions and one's thoughts. It's a time to get to know ourselves better and find out more about ourselves and those who live with us", confirms Giancarlo Pedote. "In my case, isolation essentially means: learning how to continue preparing for the Vendée Globe with my children permanently in attendance. It's not easy to maintain a constant level of productivity, whilst continuing to make myself available to my children who, quite rightly, need their parents".

Continuing with preparations for the Vendée Globe

Preparing for the Vendée Globe also involves a lot of work sat behind a desk: studying the weather, the navigation software and the instructions, as well as lessons on racing and organisational work (parts verification files, operational and planning files...).

These studies are continuing to be done at home. There's all the 'day-to-day preparation' work too: on-board food, which you have to prepare well in advance, getting the clothing made up and also testing... a series of topics it's possible to continue working on. Other operations have been adapted accordingly: training sessions down at the pool and group racing sessions have given way to muscle strengthening exercises in the garage and cardio sessions.

Remote meetings with the team, sponsors and associates

"Yesterday evening, I did a video conference with my mental coach and my kinesiologist (a very close friend). We spoke about this pandemic, the need to protect oneself and protect others with respect and common sense, as well as simple and natural ways to boost your immune system. Above all, we talked about the importance of maintaining positive thinking and overcoming both indifference and panic. During this period of lockdown, our mood won't change the reality of the way things are and it won't affect the progress of the pandemic. The only thing we can do is to try to be as helpful as we can and to maintain our positive mindset. At home, we've made a sign barring entry, and we've put it on the exit door with a smile as it's not a bad ban: it's a ban which is good for us and for the world. A ban for people, #4PEOPLE" explains the Italian skipper.

"We're waiting for this situation to resolve itself, by responding with a proactive approach whenever possible. We're trying to help the doctors, nurses and pharmacists by playing by the rules and remaining positive at all times, all united as a team, so that when we come out of the system of depression we'll be able to come back stronger and even more confidently than before, whether it's for my Vendée Globe or for everyone's life plans. In the meantime, I'm staying at home and I'm preparing".

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