Harken Derm

Mini Transat – The Great Escape

Published on November 29th, 2013

(November 29, 2013) – The break is between the leading group and the rest of the fleet. The first six prototypes achieve a flawless course, allowing them to outrun their pursuers, while maintaining top speeds that are likely to protect them from any attacks. Performance The performance of Julien Pulvé (802 MExT-ICA) is most welcome as the Rochelais has made up lost time after his forced Lanzarote stop: still Sixth, he is now 245 miles ahead of Annabelle Boudinot (791 Agro650.org).

It’s almost over for Giancarlo Pedote (747 Prysmian) and Aymeric Belloir (810 Tout le Monde chante contre le Cancer). The two leaders of each classification are constantly widen the gap and are now respectively 44 and 173 miles from their pursuers Benoît Marie (667 benoitmarie.com) and Justine Mettraux (824 Teamwork) . Although the Swiss sailor currently files a speed of 8 knots, the gap seems too big to close in the 810 miles to Pointe-à- Pitre. In the prototypes Benedict Marie could, reverse the trend through superior speed to that of Giancarlo Pedote, but the Italian’s will to win has so far been foolproof. Conversely, it’s still all to play for third placed Rémi Fermin (741 Boréal) as Bruno Garcia (240 Sampaquita) and Bertrand Delesne (754 Proto Teamwork) are hitting top speed, hitting average speeds in excess of 10.1 and 11.3 knots.

Further back, however, they are stuck. The depression that has blocked the game now for several days appears to have no intention of giving the Ministes any respite. Annabelle Boudinot and Nicolas Boidevezi (719, Nature Addicts) are thus completely stuck in a dead calm, unable to reach 2 knots of speed. Its the same punishment for the series boats, like Alberto Bona (507 Onlinesim.it) and Damien Audrain (745 Gerinter – Audrain), who are acting out another France V Italy match in the fight for sixth place in the Yslab Ranking (series boats). There is also a fight in the middle of the fleet for a coveted fifteenth place in the series boats: the five boats in fifteenth to nineteenth place are within 22 miles of each other. For François Guiffant (159 Scidiam) a rudder problem has meant he has slowed considerably.

When morale goes, everything goes
But “Fanch” Guiffant is not letting it get him down. During a VHF chat, the Brazilian skipper of Scidiam was indefatigably positive, patiently waiting for better conditions to make repairs and resume the race. Its the same story for Federico Fornaro (568 Raw News – Jolie Rouge), who has suffered several gear failures, but continues at full tilt, according to the crew of the Nacira 40 escort boat fleet. It’s as if the lull in damage that has prevailed over the last few days has relieved the pressure on the survivors still at sea Smiling is now requisit in the fleet, and at Pointe-à-Pitre there are friends, families and the locals eagerly waiting for them and standing firm. Indeed, everything is ready in Guadeloupe for the return of the Mini Transat after 14 years of absence, everything is ready at Marina Bas-du-Fort to accommodate them. Giancarlo Pedote is expected to arrive on Sunday 1st December in the early morning local time (GMT -4).

Rankings (prototypes) at 16.00 (GMT +1)
1. Giancarlo Pedote (747 – Prysmian) with 492.1 nm to finish
2. Benoit Marie (667 – benoitmarie.com) + 44 nm
3. Rémi Feermin (741 – Boréal) + 192.7 nm
4. Bruno Garcia (240  - Sampaquita) + 213.1 nm
5. Bertrand Delesne (754 – TeamWork PProto) + 224.4 nm

Ranking (series boats) at 16.00 (GMT +1)
1. Aymeric Belloir (810 – Tout le Monde chante conttre le Cancer) with 810.9 nm to finish
2. Justine Mettraux (824 – TeamWork) + 172.9 nm
3. Simon Koster (819 – Go 4 it) + 261.5 nm
4. JJean-Baptiste Lemaire (607 –  Ouvre du Marin Breton) + 409.1 nm
5. Tanguy Le Turquais (599 – Terréal – Rêve d’enfance) + 471.7 nm

The full rankings can be found online here.

Background: The biennial Mini Transat is a transatlantic race for solo Mini 6.5m competitors. The race has two legs: 1257 miles from France to Canary Islands, and 2764 miles from Canary Islands to Guadeloupe. Demand is high to compete. The race is limited to 84 racers, and each entrant must fulfill qualifying requirements. The race has a production division and a prototype division.

The start from Douarnenez was originally planned for October 13, but was postponed due to severe weather conditions on the race course. A weather window allowed for the start of the first leg of the Mini Transat 2013 on October 29, but worsening weather conditions forced the cancellation of this leg and the Mini Transat fleet found shelter in the ports on the north coast of Spain.

Seventy-three competitors restarted in Sada, Spain on November 13, with the race reduced to one 3700 mile leg direct to Pointe-à-Pitre, with a gate at the Canary Islands for safety.

Race website: http://www.minitransat.fr/

Source: Event media

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