Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius EU 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

North Sails V GennakerBakewell-White Yacht DesignInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

2016 52 Super Series - Day 2 action-shots by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2016 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2016 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 3:00 am
Big fleet racing in store for Sailing Series Melges 20 - Act 4
The entry list for the final 2016 Sailing Series® Melges 20 event is long, lean and mean with more than 50 teams The entry list for the final 2016 Sailing Series® Melges 20 event is long, lean and mean with more than 50 teams scheduled to attend, and will potentially surpass all-time Class attendance records with 15 different nations from around the world being represented: Austria, Australia, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Africa
Posted today at 2:34 am
Azzurra wins the second day of the Audi Settimana delle Bocche
The second day of racing at the classic regatta hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda saw a big shakeup in positions. The day’s very light breezes forced the Racing Committee to substitute the scheduled coastal race with a windward/leeward race that began at 2:00 PM in light and unstable breezes that tended to shift towards the right.
Posted on 29 Jun
Matson is top Brit in 12th after Leg 2 of Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro
Racing his seventh Solitaire, Yoann Richomme sailing Skipper Macif 2014 claimed his first leg win in a time of two days After a tight battle at the top, the podium was defined at the Suzuki buoy off the coast of Portsall, France. Richomme was the first at the sponsored mark for a second time in the race, leaving the fleet in his wake as he blasted up the north-western coast of France towards Paimpol.
Posted on 29 Jun
Robin sustains damage to Artemis 43 at Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro
The Artemis Offshore Academy shore team got straight to work on Robin Elsey’s Figaro Artemis 43 following a collision. The Artemis Offshore Academy shore team got straight to work on Robin Elsey’s Figaro Artemis 43 following a collision between the boat and a rock in the Chanel du Four – a notoriously tidal passage on the north western coast of France.
Posted on 29 Jun
Underdogs and top dogs sniff out the best breeze at 52 Super Series
In a shifting light-breeze which kept tacticians on their toes, home favourites Azzurra scored their first race win. The gentle breeze moved 50 degrees right over the duration of the race, requiring successive changes to the course axis on each leg of race three of the series. It proved a good day for the underdogs too as XIO and Paprec, two of the oldest boats in the fleet, scrapped over the early lead.
Posted on 29 Jun
2016 TP52 Super Series – Race three images by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from race three Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from race three
Posted on 29 Jun
My Road to Rio – Part 5 – Maria Erdi
Erdi booked her spot for Rio 2016 in the Laser Radial at the final opportunity, the European qualification event Erdi booked her spot for Rio 2016 in the Laser Radial at the final opportunity, the European qualification event in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Following nervously back in Balatonfured, Hungary was father Gabor, mother Gabriella and siblings Julia, Anna, Gabriella and Janos.
Posted on 29 Jun
Three extra places for the Vendée Globe 2016
At a meeting held today with the organisers and skippers, President of the SAEM Vendée made an unexpected announcement. At a meeting held today (Wednesday 29th June) in Les Sables d'Olonne with the organisers and skippers competing in the eighth edition, Yves Auvinet, President of the SAEM Vendée made an unexpected announcement.
Posted on 29 Jun
Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro – Yoann in driving seat after stage 2 win
Yoann was chased all the way to the line by Nicolas Lunven on Generali, Charlie Dalin on Skipper Macif 2015 and Morvan. After taking the lead from the initial pace-setter, Gildas Morvan on Cercle Vert, who dominated the early stages from the start at Cowes, Richomme held the initiative as the fleet raced across the English Channel from Land’s End and then stayed out in front during two fast passages of the Chenal du Four and a tour of the Iroise Sea.
Posted on 29 Jun