Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

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 EyewearSouthern Spars - 100Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82

Related Articles

St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 - Day 2
Six to eight foot seas off island's east end, gusts blowing to 20 to 25 knots and mix of rain and sun all added to fun. The St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) proved its reputation as the 'Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing' by superbly delivering on its signature mix of round the rocks and round the buoy courses on the event's second day of competition. What's more, six to eight foot seas off the island's east end, gusts blowing to 20 to 25 knots and a mix of rain and sun all added to the fun.
Posted today at 8:45 am
St. Thomas International Regatta - Day 2 action-shots by Dean Barnes
Dean Barnes was on water at St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Dean Barnes was on water at St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 8:27 am
St. Thomas International Regatta – Day 1 – Wind was the word
Competitors in the Large Offshore Multihull Class especially reveled in the afternoon breeze. These polar-opposite conditions plus the challenge of round the islands rather than strictly buoy racing proved the talk of why some of the best sailors in the Caribbean, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand put STIR on their list of must-do’ regattas each year.
Posted today at 6:36 am
Meet Clipper 2017-18 Race skipper Gaëtan Thomas
This summer Gaëtan Thomas will make history as the first Belgian Skipper to lead a team around the world in Clipper Race This summer Gaëtan Thomas will make history as the first Belgian Skipper to lead a team around the world in the Clipper Race.
Posted today at 5:08 am
Bureau Vallée 2 back in the water in Brittany
The former Banque Populaire VIII aboard which Armel Le Cléac’h won the last Vendée Globe was put back in the water The former Banque Populaire VIII aboard which Armel Le Cléac’h won the last Vendée Globe was put back in the water on Friday in Lorient (Brittany), with her new decoration in the colours of Bureau Vallée.
Posted on 25 Mar
Meet Clipper 2017-18 Race skipper Wendy Tuck
For Wendy ‘Wendo’ Tuck, one race around the world was never going to be enough. For Wendy ‘Wendo’ Tuck, one race around the world was never going to be enough. And as a result, she’s set to make history in the Clipper 2017-18 Race as the first Australian skipper to complete the arduous ocean challenge twice.
Posted on 24 Mar
Round the Rocks kick's off St. Thomas International Regatta
Nearly 60 sleek sailing yachts from Caribbean, U.S., Canada and Europe will race in St. Thomas International Regatta. Nearly 60 sleek sailing yachts from the Caribbean, U.S., Canada and Europe will race in the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta. Set for March 24 to 26, this three-day regatta known as the ‘Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing’ will be prefaced by the second Round the Rocks Race on March 23, which features a circumnavigation of the 19-square-mile neighbouring U.S. Virgin Island of St. John.
Posted on 23 Mar
Vendée Globe – A hugely popular event and media success
With 29 skippers setting sail and 10 nations represented, the eighth edition offered a wide range of projects The results show huge increases everywhere: many more people attending the event, unprecedented media coverage and feedback, a record level of international coverage without talking about the very positive race outcome in terms of the rankings.
Posted on 23 Mar
RC44 Championship Tour heads to Lanzarote for final regatta
For 2017 the fleet will return to Europe's southern shores with racing hosted from the new facility, Marina Lanzarote The Calero Marinas have been a regular winter destination for the RC44 fleet over the years having hosted four regattas and three World Championships between 2010 and 2013.
Posted on 23 Mar
35th Garda Meeting Optimist preview
Less than one month to the start and already 985 pre-entries from 28 different nations. Less than one month to the start and already 985 pre-entries from 28 different nations. Puertorico and Thailand are the news of 2017, with five and three helmsmen registered. The largest representations are from Germany, Italy, Denmark, Swedish, Poland, Finland, Norway, Russia and Hungary.
Posted on 23 Mar