“At the monstrous growth of algae at the equator, I had to retreat with the boat”

During another Vendée Globe “I was surprised at the amount of sargasso, of seaweed, I’ve encountered: a monstrous thing, it has changed so much in the past 10 years.” This is the testimony of Giancarlo Pedotti, the Florentine sailor who concluded in the latest edition of his solo world tour non-stop and assist with an unprecedented – for Italian colors – an eighth place in the regatta that is the Everest of the seas. Pedotti spoke about this in an interview with Adnkronos on the sidelines of the presentation of his book “The Soul in the Ocean,” Rizzoli, The Story of 80 Days Around the World. At the presentation, in the library of historical Romanian books “Il Mare” on Via del Fantaggio, there were dozens of people who, for obvious reasons connected with the epidemic, were in turn able to listen to the navigator’s experiences firsthand. A rare event these days.

This phenomenon, says Bidot, “may be due to global warming, but I confirm that it was surprising: in the equatorial belt, algae cover a vast surface, real islands, much more than in the past. Let’s say I’ve seen the network change in the past ten years. And the last time I liked it.” With some consequences also for his race, he adds, “There have been times when I’ve had to put the boat back in, with the sail at the front of the ship locked and the mainsail taut to the fullest in the middle of the ship. You can go back slowly and remove the drifting algae.”

Sometimes there wasn’t a need,” thanks to speed: on our boats (Imoca 60ft, ed) the centerboard floor is balanced, the forward bushing is higher than the stern, and when we tilt the keel, maximum lift is created for the keel. This causes the boat to tend to lift Collect the algae at the connection between the hull and the keel, and when you raise the boat one meter the problem is solved. But sometimes you get huge lines, especially fishing lines, it takes hours to break free.”

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As for the plastics, “At these speeds, we’re talking about 25 knots, you have a hard time looking ahead, visibility is very limited. I think more than my testimony, that the testimony of the scientific community is real, and then it’s enough to look at the plastic you find on the beach: this summer in no Maddalena went fishing for trash on the sea floor and put it on the boat to get rid of on land.Obviously we’ve seen plastics, but it’s not in our experience that they can do the stats.I spent very little on deck during the Vendée, largely due to the temperatures Then the speed. It is no coincidence that when I have to make a change of sail at the bow I slow down, if you catch a wave at 25 knots you fly away like a piece of paper.”

During the meeting, there is also space to talk about the aging of “sailors”: Gone are the days when we dreamed of emulating Bernard Moissier and embarking on an ocean adventure: “Today we live in a world in which the virtual world has much more attractiveness than reality; in addition, we need to Immediately moving from one experience to another and we need to fill the space between the two experiences. The compulsive syndrome with which we used smartphones before is not there. Era, this is a cultural phenomenon: empty spaces are no longer acceptable and you have to fill them.”

“Where I live (in Lorient, in Atlantic France, ed.) Fortunately, they make kids have different experiences: sailing, swimming, taking them to collect trash on the beach and throwing sea spray in their face. All the things that put them in touch with the world. I found out. Sailing with my dad when we signed up for a surfing course, and I was 12. Maybe now we really need to get back to the simple things, like walking in the woods or in the mountains, to reconnect with nature.”

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While what seems to dominate time” is the fear of jumping into trials. I give an example: When I started racing I was an archer, and a friend of mine taught me his method: “If you want to be a good archer, I must make a mistake.” Sometimes a mistake gives you an adrenaline rush, that ‘sting’ that heightens my focus. I realize that when you’re wrong, especially in the beginning, the world is always ready to shoot you, and that’s probably a concept to review. It absolutely must be done. , and not to do it is mainly for fear of making a mistake. The sea is a phenomenon, and it is a powerful way to ask itself. But it can be done with anything, photography, painting: it is an attitude towards life.”

The result is that in 20 or 30 years we won’t see anyone sailing for fun? “I don’t know, I don’t think so. This year I have done several boat cruises in Sardinia with my family, and I have never seen less crowding than 15 years ago. However, I realize that today we want everything immediately, and we often see boats with sails Closed and only motorized to reach and swim at once: lose the taste of crossing and the journey.”

“After all, excursion boats are the joy of experiencing the cruise, the joy of enjoying every second of navigation. I appreciate that very much, because I’m usually on boats going at 25 knots, you have to keep with your ears a radar to pick up all the noise and decode it, just in case From constant tension, excitement, sometimes you hear a whistle and say “No, this is not normal, let’s see where it comes from”, then it is clear that the speed itself gives you a very high reaction time.

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While living in a ‘normal’ boat, ‘in a slow-moving time also being able to be with the kids and not have to look ahead because the boat is slowing down. I enjoyed this summer so much, which I realize there’s not much: because we probably need to immediately Moving from one experience to another and in the space between the two experiences we need to fill. The compulsive syndrome with which we use smartphones has never existed before, and this is a cultural phenomenon: the gaps are no longer accepted and you have to fill them.”

(by Paolo Bellino)

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