Please select your home edition
Edition
BandG Triton2 AUS 728x90

Mini Transat - Fleet advances between squalls

by Solene Rennuit on 23 Nov 2013
Jonas Gerkens (590 - Netwerk 2) ©Jacques Vapillon / Mini Transat 2013
Mini Transat - Douarnenez to Pointe-a-Pitre. From beautiful straight lines to course changes at the mercy of the oscillating trade winds. The competitors' routes show a guilty penchant for zigzaging back and forth reflecting the instability ot the conditions they are encountering. Under these conditions, each must make the most of the opportunities presented to them. Although the leading boat has now passed the halfway mark (1850 miles to go), Guadeloupe is still a long way off ...

A time of squalls : the competitors speeds frequently vary from one hour to the next, from two knots to eight, according to the gusts of wind that first one and then another manages to catch. In this game, the routes may seem erratic, but it is above all the wind that sets the agenda. The only advantage of this snail like pace is that it means there is little risk for the competitors of being hit in the face with a flying fish.

As they make their way out into the Atlantic, the singlehanders fall gradually into rythum with their boat. Its time for essential routines, for daily checks, for a lifestyle that increasingly bears little resemblance to normal life. Sleeping in installments, eating when they feel the need, staying alert to the weather conditions. Any encounter becomes an event. In this game, some are able to stay chatting for long periods on the radio while others just laconicly submit essential information as they are isolated in their own little bubble.

But one must go on with the race regardless of the haphazard winds, that surely tests the nerves of all the competitors. The lack of communication with the outside world which would allow you to confirm your scenarios is another issue : 'I have just been stopped by a squall in which the wind is conspicuously absent, please tell me that my nearest competitors haven't simulataneously been enjoying a breeze and been able to escaped?' You have to be mentally tough to make your way without being able to ask more questions ...

Nevertheless, the positions have changed little at the front of the fleet. Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) maintains a margin of twenty miles on Benoît Marie (benoitmarie.com) who is still firmly embedded as the second prototype. Fourth and fifth, Bruno Garcia (Sampaquita) and Bertrand Delesne (TeamWork) who have gradually fallen into the wake of the two leaders, 150 miles behind. Only Rémi Fermin (Boreal), on the boat he designed and built himself, had managed to create some distance to the south which may pay off in the coming days. For now, he is a hundred miles behind, a gap that could be quicly reduced, as long as the wind reshuffles the cards by enabling the trade winds in the southern part of the racing area.

In the series boats, Aymeric Belloir (Tout le Monde Chante contre le Cancer) is in an ideal situation. His direct competitors Simon Koster (Go 4 it) , Justine Mettraux (TeamWork) and Jean-Baptiste Lemaire (L’œuvre du Marin Breton) are 100 miles back on an identical route. Behind this group, you have to look back one hundred miles to find the very compact peloton led by Tanguy Le Turquais (Terréal Rêve d’Enfance) and Eric Cochet (Abers & Co). Among the competitors who left Lanzarote, some have opted for a route along the African coast, so as to descend faster towards more sustained winds.

This is the case for Jonas Gerkens (Netwerk 2) , Pip Hare (The Potting Shed) and Maxime Salle (Bongo). At Puerto Calero, they are still two boats yet to leave the docked, Louis Mauffret (Solidarity) and Richard Hewson (RG 650). They could be joined by Pilar Pasanau (Peter Punk) who seems to be closing the coast of Lanzarote, and even Nolwen de Carlan (Reality) who has turned around.

Nolwen has activated his button to say all is well on board. They are still three boats between Gibraltar and Lanzarote. Diane Reid (One Girl 's Ocean Challenge) and Aron Meder (Felicity 2) are under jury rig and will put into port. Ludovic Méchin (Paris Texas) has a moral duty to cross in the boat should have been that of Valerio Bruni-Tedeschi. Even though his race might now be on hold for this edition, the adventure still has meaning.

Yslab Ranking (series boats) at 16.00 (GMT +1)

1. Aymeric Belloir (810 – Tout le Monde chante contre le Cancer) with 1873.3 nm to finish
2. Simon Koster (819 – Go 4 it) + 94.1 nm
3. Justine Mettraux (824 - TeamWork) + 96.8 nm
4. Jean-Baptiste Lemaire (607 – Œuvre du Marin Breton) + 107.1 nm
5. Tanguy Le Turquais (599 – Terréal Rêve d’enfance) + 208.9 nm

Cegelec / Eurovia Ranking (prototypes) at 16.00 (GMT +1)

1. Giancarlo Pedote (747 – Prysmian) at 1749.6 nm to finish
2. Benoit Marie (667 – benoitmarie.com) + 19 nm
3. Rémi Fermin (741 – Boréal) + 118.1 nm
4. Bruno Garcia (240 – Sampaquita) + 145.2 nm
5. Bertrand Delesne (754 – TeamWork Proto) + 184.4 Mini Transat website

BandG AUS Triton2 660x82Jeanneau Sunfast 660x82Henri Lloyd 50 Years

Related Articles

Armel Le Cléac'h due to finish Vendée Globe at 1530hrs UTC
The French skipper is currently 36nm from the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, travelling at just over 12 knots. The French skipper is currently 36 nautical miles from the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, travelling at just over 12 knots.
Posted today at 2:25 pm
RORC Caribbean 600 – Winning ways
American yachts have had a winning streak in this classic race, winning five out of eight editions of the 600-miler. American yachts have had a winning streak in this classic offshore race, winning five out of eight editions of the 600-miler, starting and finishing in Antigua.
Posted today at 2:06 pm
Vendee Globe - Le Cleac'h flying home
Vendee Globe race leader Armel Le Cleac's is on the final tack for the finish of the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race. Vendee Globe race leader Armel Le Cleac's is on the final tack for the finish of the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race. At the 0400UTC position report he had 145nm to sail to the finish at Les Sables D'Olonne and was expected to be greeted by a crowd of hundreds of thousands of French sailing fans on Thursday afternoon or early evening local time.
Posted today at 7:14 am
Le Cléac'h closes in on Vendée Globe finish line
French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has one hand on the Vendée Globe trophy this morning as he bears down on the finish line French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has one hand on the Vendée Globe trophy this morning as he bears down on the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. At the latest position update Le Cléac'h, skipper of Banque Populaire VIII, was 146 nautical miles from finishing the solo round the world race with a lead of 87nm over second-placed Alex Thomson.
Posted today at 6:05 am
Vendee Globe Race - View the finish LIVE
The arrival of the Vendée Globe will be broadcast LIVE on January 19 between 5.30 p.m and 8.00 p.m (GMT) French skipper Armel Le Cléac'h and British skipper Alex Thomson will finish their non-stop solo round the world race on Thursday afternoon or evening local time. The arrival of the Vendée Globe will be broadcast LIVE on January 19 at 1530hrs UTC on the event's channel
Posted today at 5:10 am
Vendee Globe - Both leaders tack setting up an intense finish battle
According to the official tracker, Vendee Globe Race leader, Armel Le Cleac'h has tacked in what could be the final move According to the official tracker, Vendee Globe Race leader, Armel Le Cleac'h has tacked in what could be the final move of the Vendee Globe race for 2016/17. Rival Alex Thomson has responded. At the latest report, the French sailor was attempting to cross ahead of his rival, Alex Thomson - who still had the option to tack underneath and then take his chances on the final 24 hours.
Posted on 18 Jan
Day 74 – Vendée Globe victory 24 hours from Le Cléac'h's grasp
British sailor Alex Thomson conceded that his chances of overhauling leader Armel LeCléac'h on the home strait were slim Alex Thomson today conceded that his chances of overhauling leader Armel Le Cléac'h on the home strait were slim, despite narrowing the gap to just 35 miles. In the last 24 hours Thomson, 42, has halved Le Cléach's lead of 70 miles but as the pair prepared to enter the final 300 miles of the solo round the world race this afternoon he said the advantage was now firmly with his French rival.
Posted on 18 Jan
Former Clipper Race skipper chasing Vendèe Globe glory
Alex, 42 from Gosport, made up 30nm on his French rival Armel le Clèac’h overnight to cut the deficit to around 40nm After more than 70 days, the Vendee Globe is set for an epic finish, with the youngest skipper to win the Clipper Race, Alex Thomson, closing in on the lead as the race enters into the final 24 hours. Alex, 42 from Gosport, made up 30 nautical miles on his French rival Armel le Clèac’h overnight to cut the deficit to around 40nm by Wednesday morning.
Posted on 18 Jan
Inaugural GC32 Championship coming up next month
A joint gathering of the international fleets of GC32 one design foiling catamarans is to take place in Muscat This will be the first occasion ever that the GC32 Racing Tour and the Extreme Sailing Series™ fleets have combined to lock horns on the race course.
Posted on 18 Jan
Vendee Globe - Thomson reduces margin but has to make vital decision
Single-handed monohull world record holder, Alex Thomson, continues to gnaw away at Banque Populaire VIII's lead Single-handed monohull world record holder, Alex Thomson, continues to gnaw away at Banque Populaire VIII's lead in the Vendee Globe Race. The margin between the first and second boat is now just 36nm.
Posted on 18 Jan