Mini Transat: Douarnenez To Sada Leg Is Abandoned

Published on October 31st, 2013

(October 31, 2013) Without a doubt, the Bay of Biscay wins this year. Although the Mini Transat fleet had eaten up nearly two-thirds of the Bay of Biscay, the grib files are showing a further deterioration in conditions compared to those expected at the time of the start. At 19.00 tonight, the Race Director took the decision to cancel the first leg to allow solo Mini 6.5m competitors to reach port safely.

The start of Leg 1 from Douarnenez, France to Puerto Calero, Canary Islands was originally planned for October 13, 201, but was postponed to October 29 due to severe weather conditions on the race course. As the fleet began their crossing of the Bay of Biscay during Leg 1, the Race Director diverted the fleet to Sada, near La Coruna at the north west tip of Spain, to wait out strong weather. And now this shortened leg has been abandoned.

Several parameters were involved in the final decision. First was the concern to preserve the security of the slower competitors, who are often also the least experienced. During the course of the morning, the Race Director advised those boats who were still a long way from the Sada finish line to proceed south towards the Cantabrian coast and Gijon where conditions should be much more manageable.

In doing so, nearly forty competitors immediately decided to proceed to the Asturian port. Under these conditions the sporting fairness of the leg might be undermined. Moreover, although the leading prototypes were almost assured of reaching Sada before the arrival of bad weather, the situation was much more critical for the group leading the series boats, which were located about 90 miles from the entrance to the Sada estuary at 16.00.

Once all boats are safe in the Cantabrian ports, the organisation will take the most appropriate measures to provide a new start to Lanzarote at the first available opportunity.

UPDATE: American Jeffrey MacFarlane was dismasted this morning, and is now among 3 of the 31 prototype entries that have abandoned the race. Diane Reid (CAN), competing in the production division, remains in the race which has lost 4 of the original 53 starters in her division.

Race Schedule
Leg 1 – Douarnenez (France) to Puerto Calero (Lanzarote, Canary Islands): 1257 miles, 10-13 days.

Start from Douarnenez originally planned for October 13, 2013. Departure postponed to October 29 due to severe weather conditions on the race course. During Leg 1, the fleet was diverted to Sada, near La Coruna at the north west tip of Spain, to wait out strong weather. After the fleet was nearly two-thirds across the Bay of Biscay, this shortened leg was cancelled due to weather to allow competitors to reach port safely. The race from Sada to Lanzarote will restart when safe weather allows.

Leg 2 – Puerto Calero (Lanzarote, Canary Islands) to Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe): 2764 miles, 14-21 days.

Start from Canary Islands originally planned for November 9, 2013. Start now unknown due to Leg 1 delays.

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