Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 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

Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82PredictWind.comKZRaceFurlers

Related Articles

Oman Air team looks to Madeira to boost them up the ESS rankings
The crew of Oman Air are hoping next round in Madeira will give their campaign momentum to win Extreme Sailing Series. The crew of Oman Air are hoping the next round in Madeira will give their campaign momentum to win the globe-straddling Extreme Sailing Series.
Posted today at 7:39 am
Queen Mary 2 leaves French four in her wake but resists luffing
Queen Mary 2 powered into commanding lead of over 250 miles after 24hrs of racing in The Bridge Centennial Transat race After enjoying a magnificent start from the place of its birth in St Nazaire on Sunday, the Queen Mary 2 has powered into a commanding lead of over 250 miles after 24 hours of racing in The Bridge Centennial Transat race. She has left the four giant trimarans in her long wake.
Posted today at 4:52 am
America's Cup final day action-shots by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from America's Cup - Finals and prize-giving. Photographer Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from America's Cup - Finals and prize-giving.
Posted today at 4:12 am
73rd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Entries open
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) today released the Notice of Race for Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2017 The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) today released the Notice of Race for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2017, inviting eligible yacht owners to enter what is widely regarded to be one of the world’s toughest offshore racing challenges.
Posted today at 2:43 am
Maserati Multi70 back in action ahead of Transpacific Yacht Race
Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 Maserati Multi70 is back on the water in San Francisco after a two-month overhaul It is the fourth major offshore challenge for Maserati Multi70 in the last 10 months - following on from the Rolex Middle Sea Race and RORC Transatlantic Race in 2016 and the RORC Caribbean 600 Race earlier this year.
Posted on 26 Jun
Heading south for the second event of the GC32 Racing Tour
Having finished fourth in the first event on Lake Garda in Italy, Team ENGIE descends on the Mediterranean for a rematch All the competing GC32 teams are eager to try out racing at this new sailing venue. Measuring up against Sébastien Rogues’ Team ENGIE, the other teams, who come to Sardinia in peak form, will leave the French team little room for manoeuvre.
Posted on 26 Jun
America's Cup Match – Kiwis at Match Point and banter continues
I caught up with Peter Burling, just before he had to run off to be drug tested, and I recap the highlights While James Spithill was again missed in the mix zone for most except for ACEA related media and CNN (he does have a bit on!!!), while filming my Nautical Channel piece (out in a few hours) and my summary I also caught up with Tom Spithill.
Posted on 26 Jun
Queen Mary 2 takes on trimarans as Centennial Transat begins
Many thousands lined the harbor and shore to welcome the Queen Mary 2 into the Brittany harbor where she was built. This time the cannon shots were sounds of fraternity to begin the race between the Queen Mary 2 and four of the largest and fastest trimarans in the world. The start to ocean races are always emotive affairs but rarely are they so loaded.
Posted on 25 Jun
Ran Racing wins at the Audi Sailing Week - 52 Super Series
First across the finish line in the first race was Bronenosec, who got their first first place finish at this event A final day that saw Niklas Zennstrom's Ran Racing on the top step of the podium followed at just one point by Vladimir Liubomirov's Bronenosec. Doug DeVos' Quantum Racing finished in third place.
Posted on 25 Jun
52 Super Series Audi Sailing Week – Rán Racing rise to win
Without question this fourth regatta of the 52 Super Series has been an emotional roller coaster for many teams. While there was elation for the ice cool Swedish owner-driver and his hard working crew there was huge disappointment for Quantum Racing and for Provezza who both within minutes of each other had one hand on the top prize, before gear failures successively dropped them from contention.
Posted on 25 Jun