Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

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

Wildwind 2016 660x82Zhik Yachting 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82

Related Articles

Vendee Globe - Alex Thomson beats 24 hour world distance record
British sailor Alex Thomson has beaten the world sailing record for the second time in the Vendee Globe British sailor Alex Thomson has beaten the world sailing record for the second time in the Vendee Globe, travelling 536.81 nautical miles in 24 hours. The previous distance record of 534.48 nautical miles was set by Francois Gabart in the 2012 Vendee Globe, Thomson has sailed an additional 2.33 nautical miles.
Posted today at 11:52 am
EFG Sailing Arabia – Team Averda focus on food in bid to nail victory
Herrera has come up with a secret weapon that he believes might prove the difference between winning and coming second. Herrera has put together a formidable team of amateur sailors who are talented enough to earn crew spots on some of the fastest boats on the planet.
Posted today at 11:48 am
Vendee Globe – Thomson smashes 24-hour distance record
Thomson was among a fleet of 29 mostly French solo sailors that set off from Les Sables d'Olonne. During the 24-hour period running up to the 0800 UTC position report he sailed his racing boat Hugo Boss at an average speed of 22.4 knots, or 25.7mph.
Posted today at 11:29 am
Locals lead the M32 Winter Series in Monaco at halfway mark
A 10-14kts steady wind was warmly welcomed on day two after an unsailable 40+kts breeze on first scheduled day of racing A 10-14kts steady wind was warmly welcomed on day two of the regatta after an unsailable 40+kts breeze on the first scheduled day of racing.
Posted today at 10:32 am
Vendee Globe - Amedeo leads quartet round Cape Horn
French skipper Fabrice Amedeo achieved one of his life goals early this morning by passing Cape Horn for the first time. French skipper Fabrice Amedeo achieved one of his life goals early this morning by passing Cape Horn for the first time. The 38-year-old Parisian journalist-turned-solo sailor rounded Cape Horn on the southernmost tip of South America on his IMOCA 60 Newrest Matmut at 0140 UTC to become the 11th Vendée Globe skipper in the Atlantic.
Posted today at 6:36 am
Clipper Race - Excitement builds at Crew Brief Day
There was plenty of excitement as hundreds of Clipper 2017-18 Race crew members came together for the first time There was plenty of excitement as hundreds of Clipper 2017-18 Race crew members came together for the first time at the Crew Briefing.
Posted today at 5:57 am
Vendee Globe - Not the end for Enda
Enda O'Coineen vowed to complete Vendée Globe by his yacht Team Ireland - Kilcullen Voyager back to Les Sables d'Olonne Irish skipper Enda O'Coineen has vowed to 'complete' the Vendée Globe by sailing his yacht Team Ireland - Kilcullen Voyager back to Les Sables d'Olonne.
Posted today at 4:54 am
Azzurra is in Florida ready to begin the 2017 season
Azzurra's 2017 season officially starts today with the first Practice Race in the 52 Super Series. Azzurra's 2017 season officially starts today with the first Practice Race in the 52 Super Series. Azzurra's team headed out from port very early this morning to make the best use of the last few available hours to pin down the final details of boat's fine tuning ahead of today's Practice Race.
Posted today at 4:27 am
Key West promises a flying start to 2017 52 Super Series
As 52 Super Series returns eleven-boat fleet looks set to enjoy sparkling curtain raiser to demanding six-regatta season As the 52 Super Series returns to Florida for the first time since 2014, the eleven-boat fleet looks set to enjoy a sparkling curtain raiser to a demanding six-regatta season.
Posted today at 3:19 am
Vendee Globe - Thomson chops French margin to 85nm
British solo race, Alex Thomson continues to make gains on Vendee Globe Race leader, Armel Le Cleac'h. British solo racer, Alex Thomson continues to make gains on Vendee Globe Race leader, Armel Le Cleac'h. The two have around 1300nm of sailing to reach the finish at Les Sables. Sailing Hugo Boss, powered by Doyle Sails, Thomson has chopped Banque Populaire's VII's lead to 85nm at 2100UTC - a gain of about 15nm in 12 hours sailing. They are expected to finish on Thursday evening UTC.
Posted today at 2:07 am