Please select your home edition
Edition
Helm Events 728x90

Mini Transat - Ready to take off

by Mini Transat 2013 on 11 Nov 2013
Mini Transat 2013 Sea & Co http://www.seaandco.net/
The Mini Transat start from Douarnenez was originally planned for October 13, 2013 at 13.00. Departure was postponed due to severe weather conditions on the race course. After 16 days of waiting to find a weather window for the fleet of 84 Mini 650s, Douarnenez was able to hold the start of the first leg of the Mini Transat 2013 on Tuesday, October 29 at 9:19. The worsening weather conditions forced the cancellation of this leg and the Mini Transat fleet found shelter in the ports on the north coast of Spain. 62 competitors are now in Sada and 11 boats are en route to the Galician port where the race to Pointe-a-Pitre will start on the afternoon of Tuesday 12 November. A gate will be positioned off Lanzarote and competitors who wish to may make a stop at the Canaries.

30 days have now elapsed between the theoretical start date from Douarnenez and the new start date from Sada, close to La Coruna, for what will be the longest leg ever sailed in the history of the Mini Transat. It's been almost a month of tough times and misfortunes before a positive way forward could be found.

On the pontoons of Sada, the competitors are steadily getting into race mode. Computers are operating at full capacity, the latest weather files and the analysis of the best experts are tracked, compared, disected ... only a few competitors remain at sea, the last have left the port of Moras, where Jean-Pierre Dick took refuge during the Vendée Globe before crossing the Bay of Biscay, and they should arrive tonight.

Right now, everyone is in a hurry to the long wait to be over. They first had to wait in Douarnenez pending an unlikely weather window. A wait that was all the more infuriating because the two weeks of preparation for the Mini Transat took place in idyllic weather conditions. Two days earlier and the fleet would have comfortably been passing Cape Finisterre and then hurtling on Lanzarote. This is something that the organisers will be exploring for the next edition, to be able to adjust a possible start by bringing it forward a few days if weather conditions require. In Douarnenez, the Race Director was watching for the best time to release the fleet. Every time a window seemed to open the next set of files contradicted the hope of finding the right moment.

Finally on October 29 the race could get underway in a west to northwesterly wind of 25 knots whicheased during the first night. It was during this same night that the Race Director noted a further deterioration of the forecast and decided, as anticipated in the latest changes to the Sailing Instructions, to divert the fleet to Sada, after a first half leg. Unfortunately, the bad weather arrived faster than expected, and it was ultimately decided to stop the race and advise those competitors still a long way from the port of Sada to proceed to Gijon, where weather conditions were better.

In the great Asturian harbor everyone was once again waiting, this time to join up with the first competitors who had sought refuge in Sada. Despite the small number of boats in Sada, it was most logical that the entire fleet would rally at the Galician port: to have required the competitors at Sada to sail east to Gijon, would have been a kind of double jeopardy. Added to the frustration of not being able to receive a finishing position, would have been a useless delivery considering that the ultimate goal was to achieve the shortest route possible to pass Cape Finisterre. For the competitors sheltering in Gijon, it was now necessary to find a way to leave in convoy. The return to the west was not to be a sinecure: the passages around l’Estaca de Barres and Cape Ortegal was in angry seas and winds gusting up to 40 knots at times. Many competitors admitted that it was the first time they faced such difficult conditions.

Now all of our little family, or almost, are gathered at or near Sada to make the first start of this Mini Transat Douarnenez - Pointe a Pitre. From Monday the winds will shift to the north. The fleet will finally know the intoxication of surfing off-wind. After the hard graft comes the reward.

What they said: Sofie de Clercq (Ville de Marseillan)
'During my delivery, I had an autopilot problem. To get some rest I decided to heave to several times. But at no time did I think to stop. In any case, I'm really glad I did that. The scenery was really beautiful and I discovered something that I never would have known otherwise. In Minis, 35 knots is acceptable, but 40 knots, it's just too ... '

Hugues Chollet (Soutenez le Bel Espoir)
'I never thought I'd be able to do what I did. When we left Gijon, we were not making headway, we couldn't make decent progress. Like many others, I stopped at Moras. At this time, I was at the bottom of a hole, really depressed. With some other competitors we found ourselves on one of the accompanying support boats where they gave us a good meal. The next day, morale had returned, it was almost beautiful. We knew there would be wind, but I told myself, this is a challenge, you have to go. We took a good bashing, but we made it. Looking back, I am proud to have managed it.'

Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearHelm Events 660x82North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

RORC Transatlantic Race – Day 14 – Aragon watches the clock
Aragon crew are a blend of family, friends and professional sailors and the youngest sailor was at the helm of Aragon. The crew of Aragon are a blend of family, friends and professional sailors and the youngest sailor, Anna Van Nieuwland was at the helm of Aragon as the team crossed the line.
Posted today at 3:03 pm
Team Arkema Lalou Multi looks forward to a busy winter
A genuine concentrate of innovation, the Arkema 3 prototype launched halfway through the year has not gone unnoticed. This winter promises to be busy for Lalou Roucayrol’s team, who will make the most of the opening-up of the Multi50 class measurements to fit new parts on their trimaran, the famous foils.
Posted today at 1:03 pm
52 Super Series – Great strides towards sustainability
The 2016 season represents the second complete year in partnership with sustainability sponsor 11th Hour Racing. The 2016 season represents the second complete year in partnership with sustainability sponsor 11th Hour Racing.
Posted today at 12:24 pm
Strong winds continue on Day 4 of Sailing World Cup Melbourne
Matt Wearn enjoyed the strong winds today, winning both races in the Laser fleet. Wearn is currently leading overall. Matt Wearn enjoyed the strong winds today, winning both races in the Laser fleet. Wearn is currently leading overall, three points ahead of Cypriot Pavlos Kontides. Rio Silver medallist, Tonci Stipanovic finished second in both today’s races and is currently lying third overall, while Australia’s Tom Burton is in fourth overall. Burton scored a 12 and a five in today’s two races.
Posted today at 12:02 pm
Extreme Sailing Series – Oman Air close gap on Alinghi
Oman Air took every opportunity today and cornered the podium to close the gap at the top of the Act eight leaderboard. Team Oman Air took every opportunity on the Sydney Harbour race course today and cornered the podium to close the gap at the top of the Act eight leaderboard as the rivalry with Alinghi intensifies.
Posted today at 11:09 am
SWC Final – Badloe and Squires pick up where their countrymen left off
Badloe holds the lead after nine races and Squires pushed himself into contention after two bullets and a second. Badloe holds the lead in the men's windsurfer after nine races and Squires pushed himself into contention after two bullets and a second. The pair, and the sailors across the ten Olympic and Open Kiteboarding fleets battled against a south westerly wind in excess of 20 knots coupled with a big sea state.
Posted today at 10:38 am
ESS Sydney - second day images from Beth Morley
The Open Water session due for 4pm to 6pm today but it was cancelled due to the wind Beth Morley was back out on the water to capture the second day of Act Eight of the Extreme Sailing Series. An Open Water session was due for 4pm to 6pm today but it was cancelled due to the wind, so these are from the Stadium race. Enjoy!
Posted today at 10:09 am
Alinghi and Oman Air neck and neck at Extreme Sailing Series finale
Swiss crew Alinghi remain in pole position after two days of breathtaking action on the iconic waters of Sydney Harbour. Swiss crew Alinghi remain in pole position after two days of breathtaking action on the iconic waters of Sydney Harbour, but it couldn't be tighter at the top as the battle between the two Series frontrunners intensifies.
Posted today at 10:08 am
Tom Squires 'dab's' while skydiving at Sailing World Cup - Melbourne
Tom Squires from the British Sailing Team is in Melbourne jumped out of a plane as part of the event earlier this week. Tom Squires from the British Sailing Team is in Melbourne for the Sailing World Cup Final sailing on the RS:X jumped out of a plane as part of the event earlier this week. He took the opportunity to do his first 'dab' and managed to hurt his shoulder.
Posted today at 7:25 am
Vendee Globe - Dealer's choice - Antipodean duel in stormy low
Armel Le Cleac’h and Alex Thomson have throttled back to preserve their boats and equipment as best they can Gusty, squally winds averaging 40kts, big, confused seas compounded by an awkward wind angle are all contributing to the worst period yet for two leaders of the Vendee Globe as they deal with a nasty, messy low pressure system. Armel Le Cleac’h and Alex Thomson have throttled back to preserve their boats and equipment as best they can but even so speeds are still averaging between 18 and 20 kts.
Posted today at 6:11 am