Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

Mini Transat - Playing the card of transparency

by Solene Rennuit on 15 Oct 2013
2013 Mini Transat © Jacques Vapillon / Mini Transat http://www.minitransat.fr
In the Mini Transat, the recurring question in Douarnenez is why did you not start on Sunday with good weather prevailing over the bay? The answer lies at Cape Finisterre on the northwestern tip of Spain. This is where the singlehanders might be caugh out in the cold, beating in winds of 35 knots in a big sea. Critical conditions for boats as small as 6.50m sailed singlehanded.

You have to imagine life on a Mini, facing the sea in bad weather. The boat becomes trapped, barely able to climb the waves at very low speeds because of its short waterline length. The cockpit is regularly swept by the waves and the skipper is tossed about, relying on his safety harness to keep him attached to the boat. Inside, it's a real mess.

Everything that can be is piled up on the windward side, everything is soaked and the boat's movement prevent any attempt of to make a hot meal. In short, these are particularly difficult conditions for both the sailors and their machines. The rig is pounded with each wave and some masts can not stand up to the punishment.

It is understandable that in these conditions the race committee has chosen to postpone the start of the Mini Transat. Moreover, they must now find a big enough window to stop it slamming shut on the fingers of the fleet. However, the current situation offers intervals of only 48 hours, which is not sufficient to allow all competitors to cross the obstacle of the Bay of Biscay and make their descent along the western coast of Galicia. They have to sail about 450 miles before meeting more manageable conditions. To ensure the safe passage of the fleet what is needed is a weather window of about three full days. But the pressure systems currently feeding the near Atlantic are at relatively southern latitudes, making the dominant winds southerly to southwesterly. The famous jump to a nor'wester, following the passing of a depression, does not have time to establish itself before a new system takes its place.

Faced with such a situation, the organising team has opted to wait for favorable weather window to reach Lanzarote.

One alternative that could be considered is breaking the first leg into two separate sections. The first could take the fleet from Douarnenez to Gijon, a Spanish port that can easily accommodate a fleet of 84 Minis. Through contacts established with the Barquera during the Grand Prix Guyader the Asturian contacts of Douarnenez Courses are mobilised. At Gijon, the soloists can await another weather window to round Cape Finisterre. The advantage of the operation: by splitting the leg it considerably reduces the size of the good weather window necessary to open the road to the south. But today, no decision has yet been taken, as this solution raises a number of logistical problems. Next rendez-vous will be at 18.00 tomorrow . The race has chosen to play the card of transparency with the competitors : this is also in the spirit of the Mini Transat website
NaiadMariners Museum 660x82RS Sailing 660x82

Related Articles

A Few Rays – Hypo-allergenic sunscreens, a must have for some
Allergic reaction to sunscreen can be avoided if you know what to use Allergic reaction to sunscreen can be avoided if you know what to use A standard hypo-allergenic sunscreen will be designed to reduce the chance of allergic reaction by limiting ingredients in the formulation that cause the irritation.
Posted today at 2:14 am
Delta Lloyd Regatta – Medal race time for 470 and Laser
The wind was a bit tricky but Laser and 470 were able to start as scheduled giving them some time before the medal races An exciting Friday saw the last of the races before the medal races are sailed. The wind was a bit tricky in the morning, but Laser and 470 were able to start their races as scheduled, giving them some time before the medal races to prepare.
Posted on 26 May
The Atlantic Cup returns
Longest offshore race in the Western Atlantic dedicated to the Class40 will start from Charleston, one year from today. The race was created in 2011 to showcase short-handed, offshore racing with hard fought competition and exciting shore based events, while also being the most environmentally sustainable sailing race in the United States. The Atlantic Cup has been carbon neutral since 2012 and was the first and is the only sports event in the U.S. to be ISO 20121 compliant.
Posted on 26 May
Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac set sail from Chicago on July 15th
More than 300 boats have registered for the 109th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust More than 300 boats have registered for the 109th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust, one of the world’s longest-running freshwater distance races. “The Mac”, which takes most competitors well over 24 hours to complete, is a 333-mile sprint from the Chicago Lighthouse, just east of Navy Pier, to the Round Island Channel near Mackinac Island, Michigan.
Posted on 26 May
Key West Race Week 2018 - Cancelled
After extensive discussion/deliberation Storm Trysail Club decided not to organize Key West Race Week in January 2018. After extensive discussion and deliberation the Storm Trysail Club has decided not to organize and hold Key West Race Week in January 2018. Many factors led to this difficult decision. The bottom line is that with declining participation, the event has become heavily dependent upon sponsorship making the event unsustainable in its current format.
Posted on 26 May
Registration in full swing for 2017 Rolex Big Boat Series
When it comes to determining fastest guns in west, Rolex Big Boat Series served as left coast’s pivotal proving ground. When it comes to determining the fastest guns in the west, Rolex Big Boat Series, hosted by the venerable St. Francis Yacht Club, has long served as the left coast’s pivotal proving ground. Of the 40 regattas StFYC hosts each year, Rolex Big Boat Series is the signature event and enjoys a proud 52-year history of testing competitors’ skills in demanding, rewarding conditions of San Francisco Bay.
Posted on 26 May
Celebrations for 15 years of C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Regatta
Sailors from US and Canada will arrive in Newport to take part in a regatta that has become synonymous with achievement. This year the 2.4mR and Sonar classes will be racing at The Clagett and the competitors will benefit from coaches, Betsy Alison (Newport, RI), Mike Ingham (Rochester, NY) and Brian Todd (Glen Haven, Nova Scotia, Canada), being on hand to provide coaching on and off water.
Posted on 25 May
Newport MetreFest celebrates International Rule sailing yachts
MetreFest has the distinction of being the first North American regatta of the ITMA Road to the Worlds Waypoints Series From the sprightly single-handed 2.4mRs at just over 13 feet long to the majestic 12mRs ranging from 64-70 feet in length raced by crews of 17 sailors—these former and present-day Olympic and America’s Cup development classes will hold center stage at New York Yacht Club’s 163rd Annual Regatta
Posted on 25 May
Argentario Sailing Week and Panerai Classic Challenge – 4 weeks to go
In 2017, yachts will be racing for one day more than compared to past editions, for a total of four days. In 2017, yachts will be racing for one day more than compared to past editions, for a total of four days. A novelty that will allow crews to enjoy the hospitality of the Argentario and Porto Santo Stefano to the fullest and offer sailing enthusiasts the opportunity of retracing 115 years of sailing history while strolling down the docks.
Posted on 25 May
See how your smart phone can help save your life
OLAS, the man overboard location alert app from Exposure Lights is available on Android as well as through App Store. OLAS, the man overboard location alert app from Exposure Lights is now available on Android as well as through the App Store.
Posted on 25 May