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Mini Transat - Just hurry up and wait

by Solene Rennuit on 12 Oct 2013
Mini Transat 2013 Mini Transat http://www.minitransat.fr/
There is a complex weather situation in the near Atlantic. Fall has arrived suddenly and seems to be taking up residence in the Bay of Biscay. For Mini Transat sailors and organisers alike the catch phrase is the same: 'Hurry up and wait.' However, the village continues to live to the rhythm of the race and events planned in case of a stand-by will be put into action next week.

On Saturday Guadeloupe will be the guest of honor in the village. Highlights will include: a visit to the village by a delegation from Guadeloupe, the baptism of François Lamy’s boat (566), the only skipper to sail under the colors of the island, in the presence of Laura Flessel double Olympic fencing champion and a native of Pointe-à-Pitre, a media briefing by Jacques Bangou, Mayor of Pointe-à-Pitre, and a welcome to the destination for Mini Transat competitors past and present. The day will bring the spicy colors of Guadeloupe to the race village of Port Rhu.

On board, the competitors go about the final preparations. The pressure has dropped and now many of them are wondering when the next weather window will open. Most, however, are not under any illusions about the conditions they may encounter between Douarnenez and Cape Finisterre. Regardless, even if the wind conditions are manageable, the residual sea will be rough and crossing the Bay of Biscay will certainly not be a walk in the park. In the short term, there does not seem to be any real weather window. However, the organisation will provide a daily news briefing to the competitors. If an opportunity presents itself, we must be responsive enough to seize it.

For the sailors, the biggest challenge is now to adapt to this new situation. They have been mentally prepared for months to be ready for the October 13 and these few days of delay can quickly turn into an obsession pending a good start. It’s about finding the right balance between a necessary detachment from the race and the need to stay mentally positive and in competition mode. Until Sunday, the sailors will spend most of their time with their partners, friends and family. On Sunday, competitors may choose to participate in a parade of sail on the course of the prologue. After that it will become tenser. Some have already planned physical activities, substituting jogging, windsurfing or surfing for yachting. Others who live close to Douarnenez are taking advantage of the opportunity to spend some time at home. But there is no ideal solution. The art of compromise is also needed ashore.

Renaud Mary (www.runo.fr): 'This is a bizarre situation. At the time, the decision of the Race Director is completely legitimate and I think nobody wanted to be in 35-40 knots of wind at Cape Finisterre. But at the same time, it is a bit frustrating to sit here and wait. Maybe I'll go home for a bit during the week ... I am fortunate to live not too far from Douarnenez.'

Aymeric Belloir (Tout le Monde chante contre le Cancer): 'It is not necessarily an easy situation, but it was the only sensible decision. We're just waiting to find out when we can leave. Nothing is obvious.'

Julien sprayer (MEXT - ICA ): 'It is better to stay here than go risking any breakages at Cape Finisterre . I was a little behind in my preparation, so it will allow me to continue to tinker on my boat. I could have gone if I’d had to, but I'll use this time to improve some things and implement a communication plan with my new partners who only joined me the day before yesterday.'

Saturday, October 12

10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. : Village open to the public
10:00 to 11:00 : Visit to the village by the Delegation of Guadeloupe - Village / Partners , journalists
11:00 to 11:30 : Baptism of the Mini 6.50 of François Lamy (No. 566 - Guadeloupe ) in the presence of godmother Laura Flessel - Pontoons / Partners journalists
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. : Culinary Workshop - Espace CCI / General public
11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. : Brittany Games - Tente Conseil Général / General Public
11:30 a.m. to 12:00 : Baptism of the Mini 650 of Raphaëlla Le Gouvello (No. 473 - Respectocean.com ) in the presence of Gilles Boeuf, president of the National Museum of Natural History - Pontoons / Partners, journalists
12:00 to 12:30 : Press briefing Jacques Bangou, Mayor of Point -a-Pitre - Yacht Club Longueteau / journalists
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. : Free Introduction to paddle - Cale de l’enfer/ General Public
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. : Presentation of 10 skippers - Espace CCI / General Public
5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. : Baptism of the Mini 650 of Gwénolé Gahinet (No. 800 - Delcroix Logways ) in the presence of godfather Marc Guillemot - Pontoons / Partners journalists
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. : Maritime Film 'L’extraordinaire tournée du facteur Maignan' by Patrick Soulabaille - Auditorium / General Public
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. : Skippers briefing - Auditorium / Skippers , journalists
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. : Live broadcast France Bleu Breizh Izel – Espace CCI / General public
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. : Reception hosted by Guadeloupe and the Mini Class - Espace coureurs / Skippers , partners, journalists

Sunday, October 13

10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. : Village open to the public
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. : Culinary Workshop - Espace CCI / General public
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 : Introduction to Seamanship - Tente du Conseil Général / General public
10:30 to 12:00 : Exit of boats from Port- Rhu - Port- Rhu / General Public
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. : Mini 6.50 Parade of Sail off Douarnenez - Visible from the port of Rosmeur .
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. : Free Introduction to paddle - Cale de l’enfer/ General Mini Transat
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