Mini Transat 2013: Strong winds postpone Sunday start

Published on October 10th, 2013

Douarnenez, France (October 10, 2013) – A deep depression that sits off the Bay of Biscay could, if the Mini Transat start went ahead on Sunday, hit the fleet in the worst place, to the north of Cape Finisterre. To allow the Mini 6.50 soloists to reach Lanzarote in acceptable conditions, the Race Director has consulted the competitors and made his decision: the start is delayed to wait for a favorable weather window.

Some decisions are not easy to take. While Douarnenez is still in glorious sunshine, the threat is very real as a depression is currently centered in the Atlantic, level with the Azores, which is expected to generate strong winds and seas of more than 4 meters height during the day on Tuesday, ie precisely when the fleet will prepare to round Cape Finisterre.

Monday or Thursday
The challenge will now be to find a favorable weather window to send 84 singlehanders into the Bay of Biscay. Because, from the moment the decision to postpone is taken, there must be guaranteed safe conditions. An opening could come during the day on Monday, but the situation remains highly uncertain. Otherwise, there is a good chance that the fleet will have to be patient until at least until next Thursday. Given this situation, the Race Director made a proposal to start tomorrow, Friday, at 18:00. Such a decision would only be made with the unanimous agreement of all the competitors. But some did not feel ready and the proposal was immediately abandoned.

They said:
Denis Hughes, Race Director : “We have 84 solo sailors that we will send out on the water. There is no question of sending them in weather conditions that would not be acceptable. We had planned to bring forward the start, but in view of the preparation of some, this was not reasonable. ”

Bertrand Nardin , President of Douarnenez Races : “We are working to try to provide a regatta course in Douarnenez Bay on Sunday. The idea is to offer an alternative to the partners and families of the competitors who had planned to be present on the day of the start … ”

Original Schedule
October 13 – Leg 1: Douarnenez to Arrecife (Lanzarote), 1200 miles. Arrival in the Canary Islands between October 23 and 26.
November 9 – Leg 2: Arrecife to Pointe a Pitre, 2800 miles. Arrival in Guadeloupe between November 23 and 30.

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