The Italian duo lead the Nastro Rosa Tour –
Giovanna Valsecchi and Andrea Pendibene took a slim but useful lead on day two of stage two of the 2021 Hempel Mixed Doubles World Championship in Italy.
Valsecchi and Pendibene are both members of the Italian Navy and are proud to have the Marina Militare name on their Figaro 3 keelboat. Before the start of the 300 miles from Bari to Marina di Ravenna, Pendibene indicated that he was not going too consult the weather models of the Adriatic Sea. He prefers to take a more âpanty-sittingâ approach to weather routing, navigating instinctively and what he sees around him.
The team’s low-tech and instinctive approach seems to work well for the Italian duo who held a 12-mile lead over the fleet as they approached the coast near the port of Ancona this afternoon. âI don’t do a lot of meteorology,â Pendebene said. âBut I am looking to see the obstacles on the course because I have never sailed in the Adriatic Sea. Which is crazy, because we are passionate about ocean racing, but we have never been here before.
âI have raced on four Mini Transats, sailed from La Rochelle several times, sailed a lot in the Mediterranean. But the history of Italian ocean navigation began in the Adriatic. With sailors like Simone Bianchetti who competed in the VendÃ©e Globe, and other great offshore sailors. They came from the Adriatic. So it’s good to run here and we are proud to represent Marina Militare. “
Behind Valsecchi and Pendibene are Team ENIT’s other Italian crew, Claudia Rossi / Pietro D’AlÃ¬, who is fighting in a tight field with Team USA Orcas Christina Wolfe / Justin Wolfe, Team Belgium (Sophia Faguet / Jonas Gerckens) and Team South Africa (Michaela Robinson / Siyanda Vato).
The ESP team that won the first stage and led the second stage 24 hours ago fell a little behind in sixth place, followed at a distance by Sweden, Team USA USMMA Sailing Foundation and Team GBR. The Polish team is catching up, a little behind the pack.
This evening, however, could lead to another breeze shutdown, as South Africa’s Vatod described it last night, a ‘factory reset’. When the sails start to wallow in the night air, it could lead to yet another reshuffle of the peloton, which the fleet needs to take advantage of the lead Italians’ 12-mile lead.
Team USA Orcas, the husband and wife crew of Justin and Christina Wolfe, draws on their experience from other endurance sports to help them meet the challenges of this offshore stage. âWe always aim to start resting early,â explained Justin. âAny early rest for one leg is like front loading for the rest of the leg. Toward the finish we’ll probably do it less and less as we get closer because we know we can get there.
âIt’s not difficult for us. We have endurance training with triathlon and cycling, so we think a lot about saving energy, trying to stay on top of this game. â
Christina added: âThere is also a lot of discomfort in this game. So you just have to work through it. That’s the reason I play sports, because of the feeling of accomplishment at the end. If it was easy, everyone would. For the race, however, we don’t think about it so much in terms of results. It’s just that we navigate the best we can, play it minute by minute. If we can do it, the result will come.
With about half of the 300 mile course to go, a lot could still change. The race continues along the Italian Adriatic coast before rounding an oil rig about 50 miles from Ravenna and then back. If the breeze is unfavorable, the race committee may cancel this section and finish the boats earlier when they first reach the turn mark in Ravenna.
Ten teams from eight nations participate in these inaugural world championships. As part of the Marina Militare Nastro Rosa Tour 2021, which has already seen the Figaro 3 fleet sail the west coast of Italy, the Hempel 2021 Mixed Two-Person Sea World Championship is an 816nm race that takes place on three superb stages along the Adriatic coast. :
Stage 1: Brindisi to Bari
Stage 2: Bari to Marina di Ravenna
Stage 3: Marina di Ravenna in Venice
There are teams representing Italy, Belgium, United States, South Africa, Great Britain, Spain, Sweden and Poland.
The event will come to a close at the end of stage 3 in Venice on September 24, when the first winners of the 2021 Hempel Mixed Two-Way Offshore World Championship will step onto the podium in one of the most beautiful cities of Italy.
For more information see: https://www.nastrorosatour.it/
By World Sailing