Mini Transat: Knowing When to Push

Published on September 23rd, 2015

(September 23, 2015; Stage 1, Day 5) – With a strong following wind, the Mini Transat fleet bowled along the Portuguese coast, with the same worry in each person’s mind: the best way to attack, whilst also keeping the boat under control. In this constant game, it’s experience that makes the difference.

It’s not by chance that, with a few exceptions, the old hands of the Mini circuit are in the leading places in this first stage of the race. At the moment, the big guys are justifying their reputations and they are all in contention to vie for the best positions.

Davy Beaudart (Flexirub), who has been the race favourite, is keeping hold of his place with gusto, and fighting off the attacks by the furious trio of Axel Tréhin (Aleph Racing), Frédéric Denis (Nautipark) and Ludovic Méchin (Microvitae). Amongst these three, some sort of gentleman’s agreement has come about: instead of each of them fighting all the time, they are taking it in turns to rest and attack. This isn’t just an altruistic thing, as it also lets them use their boats to full potential, whilst decreasing the risk of breakages.

The possibility of breakages is of course always with them, and there have already been two dimastings (Gilles Avril and Andrea Pendibene) and several other competitors, such as Carlos Lizancos have thrown in the sponge, or made a stop for repairs. The rules of the course are clear about this: each stoppage should last less than 12 hours, and the cumulative time for stoppages is 72 hours in total. For some, the countdown has already started, like for Maxime Eveillard (Héli Stratégy) who almost certainly will need to demast to repair her damaged masthead.

Series : The status quo
Ian Lipinski (Entreprises Innovantes) is still under threat by the two chasing him, Benoît Hantzperg (YCA Dhumeaux Secours Populaire) and Tanguy Le Turquais (Terréal).

At the heart of the chasing group, the men in the west, such as Patrick Girod (Nescens) and Olivier Taillard (Alternative Sailing) are coming back into contact. There are at least a dozen people fighting for 5th place in the series class in this first stage. It’s safe to say the battle is going to get even more intense. There are at least 4 days more of this rythm before it’s all over.

Positions on the 23rd September at 3pm (TU+ 2)

Prototypes (Eurovia Cegelec class):
1. Davy Beaudart – 865 – Flexirub à 597 nm to the finish
2. Frédéric Denis – 800 – Nautipark à 31.9 nm
3. Axel Tréhin – 716 – Aleph Racing à 33 .3 nm
4. Ludovic Méchin – 667 – Microvitae à 37.5 nm
5. Clément Bouyssou – 802 – Le Bon Agent Bougeons l’immobilier à 38.3 nm

Séries (Ocean Bio-Actif class):
1. Ian Lipinski – 866 – Entreprise(s) Innovante(s) à 661 to the finish
2. Benoît Hantzperg – 871 – YCA Dhumeaux – Secours Populaire à 2.9 nm
3. Tanguy Le Turquais – 835 – Terréal à 14.8 nnm
4. Julien Pulvé – 880 – Novintiss à 23.0 nm
5. Charly Fernbach – 869 – Le Fauffiffon Hénaff à 50.1 nm

Race websiteRace programTracker

Report by race media.

Background: For the 20th edition and for the second time, the Mini Transat – Îles de Guadeloupe returns to its origins with a start from Douarnenez (France). The Breton harbour will see the fleet of 72 solo sailors set off on September 19 to Lanzarote (Canary Islands), where the Mini 6.50 will complete stage one of the race. The second stage will start on October 31, taking the fleet across the Atlantic to finish some three weeks later in Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe). The 2,700 nautical mile race from France to the Caribbean is the longest solo race for the smallest of boats.


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