Please select your home edition
Lloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px2 TOP

23rd Mini Transat EuroChef Leg 2 Day 9 - At the midway point!

by Mini Transat EuroChef 6 Nov 2021 11:04 PDT 6 November 2021

This Saturday, after eight days of racing, the leaders in the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef fleet are at the midway point in this second leg between Santa Cruz de La Palma and Saint-François.

Though the remaining 1,350 miles are fortunately shaping up to be somewhat quicker than those now astern of them, the route to the West Indies is not yet the big trade wind highway that so many sailors look forward too. In fact, the latter breeze remains wheezy, even at the latitude of Cape Verde, which means the solo sailors are being prompted to invest even more in the south in the hope of benefiting from more pressure.

Generally, when one evokes the trade wind, a steady breeze synonymous with the inter-tropical regions, the first image that springs to mind is one of a long gallop under spinnaker, boisterous surfs and the odd wipeout that goes with all that. The snag is that since leaving the Canaries, on 29 October, the breeze has never fully established or is proving to be somewhat sluggish, added to which, a vast area of calm conditions is sprawled across the middle of the Atlantic. Though there are a handful of implacable sailors continuing on their northern trajectory - prisoners of their option now -, including Antoine Bos (825 - Rhino), Anne-Gaël Gourdin (626 - Cassini), Hugo Picard (1014 - SVB Team), Pierre Meilhat (485 - Le Goût de la Vie) and Victor Eonnet (525 - Fondation Arthritis - Amiens Naturellement), all the competitors have now got the message that salvation lies to the south.

As a result, all of the competitors are continuing to invest in this direction, considerably extending their courses in the process. This is evidenced by the fact that the bulk of the peloton is today making headway between 300 to 400 miles from the great circle route. Most incredible of all though is the fact that the majority of solo sailors are continuing to drop southwards and at quite a rate too since certain routing shows a way through as far down as 11 degrees north, which is level with the latitude of Guinea-Bissau no less!

As far as 11 degrees north?

Rarely, if ever in the event's history has there been such a scenario as this, even when the Cape Verde archipelago was a compulsory passage point, as was the case in the 2017 edition. "It is somewhat unlikely though that the Mini sailors will actually drop down that far as they obviously don't have such precise weather data as the kind we boast on land", reckons Denis Hugues, Race Director. Indeed, given that the sailors themselves only get the rather succinct information sent to them each day via SSB, it would seem rather doubtful that they would gamble on a plan of this scale. In the meantime, it's blatantly clear that those who are furthest south are also the fastest, as evidenced by Pierre Le Roy's exemplary course.

Around fifty miles lower down the racecourse than his direct rivals, the skipper of TeamWork, who just so happens to be a meteorologist by profession, is the only one in the fleet to be racking up double-figure speed at the latest polling. Thanks to his position, he is able to make the most of a tad more pressure than the others, though he too is having to deal with a very irregular breeze. Indeed, there is between 18 and 24 knots of wind, fluctuating up to 30 degrees in direction. To say things are unsettled then is an understatement and things are unlikely to become any easier on the approach to the Antilles Arc. In fact, the first squalls are already looming...

Related Articles

DMG Mori Sailing Academy launches Trainee Program
Presents young talents selected for next season Knowledge transfer and fostering young people have always been part of DMG Mori's corporate philosophy. Therefore, the DMG Mori Sailing Team empowers talents to work in offshore sailing through a trainee program as part of the DMG Mori Sailing Academy. Posted on 24 Jan
Overcoming obstacles for a successful season
Classe Mini president Jean Lorre has hailed the last season as "positive" Classe Mini president Jean Lorre has hailed the last season as "positive" for the 6.50 boat class, despite a number of obstacles. Posted on 20 Dec 2021
Mini Transat EuroChef Leg 2 summary
High drama right to the wire for the production boats Rarely in the race's history has the match been so tight among the production boats. Indeed, right to the last, a large proportion of the fleet were embroiled in a close-contact race and (virtually) all the way to the wire. Posted on 15 Nov 2021
Hugo Dhallenne first production boat in Leg 2
Arriving into Saint-François in the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef This Sunday at 13:32 UTC, Hugo Dhallenne crossed the finish line in Mini Transat EuroChef Leg 2, completing the 2,700 theoretical miles of the course between Santa Cruz de La Palma and Saint-François in first place in the production boat category. Posted on 14 Nov 2021
Mini Transat EuroChef Leg 2 Day 15
Weapons being honed throughout the fleet Whilst Pierre Le Roy (1019 - TeamWork) has taken the outright win (prior to the jury's decision) in Saint-François, the fight continues at every stage of the fleet in the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef. Posted on 12 Nov 2021
Mini Transat EuroChef Leg 2 Day 14
First prototypes expected into Guadeloupe tomorrow The final part of the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef is nigh, for the prototypes at least, who are expected to make landfall in Saint-François from tomorrow, Friday 12 November. Posted on 11 Nov 2021
Mini Transat EuroChef Leg 2 Day 13
The final sprint With the front runners now less than 500 miles from the finish and expected into the port of Saint-François this Friday, the battle is becoming more and more fierce within the fleet in this 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef. Posted on 10 Nov 2021
Mini Transat EuroChef Leg 2 Day 12
Trade winds fill in across the fleet As announced yesterday, the trade wind is now sharing out its breeze pretty fairly across the whole of the race zone in the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef. Posted on 9 Nov 2021
Mini Transat EuroChef Leg 2 Day 11
Limboing under the symbolic 1,000-mile bar As the leaders in the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef fleet have just managed to limbo under the '1,000-miles to go' mark in their race to Saint-Francois, the trade wind is finally making its presence felt out on the racetrack. Posted on 8 Nov 2021
Mini Transat EuroChef Leg 2 Day 10
Ever southwards This Sunday - start day in the Transat Jacques Vabre - the fleet competing in the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef now boasts a lateral separation of nearly 600 miles. That is a colossal figure, which is also reflected in the gaps between the competitors. Posted on 7 Nov 2021
Sea Sure 2021 - FLO - FOOTERC-Tech 2021 (Spars-QFX Racer) 728x90 BOTTOMArmstrong-Logo-Only-728x90 gif BOTTOM