Ronstan

Mini Transat: Favorites Remain in First

Published on September 24th, 2015

(September 24, 2015; Stage 1, Day 6) – The pace of the Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe finds the sailors reaching exceptional speeds, but when the sea is choppy, they need to be very careful how they navigate to make the most of their boats, which are designed so well that they sometimes overspeed and cause problems.

Several sailors interviewed since the start of this Mini Transat confessed without shame that they’d never before in their lives sailed at such high speeds in such sustained winds, for such a long time. For an amateur sailor, there are only a few warm-up races each season, and it’s clear that the exercise is always more difficult than it seems.

You have to imagine life on board a Mini going at high speeds in 25 knots of wind. After some time, the hull stops surfing and crashes into the waves that permanently wash over the deck. They don’t ever stop worrying that the autopilot will fail in its task. However, they still have to sleep (even if for short periods), eat (or at least try to), and drink. In these conditions, it’s no surprise that sometimes there’s a badly thought-out manœuvre or something is dropped because it hasn’t been well attached.

Several competitors have now joined the chorus of walking wounded from the first stage. Fidel Turienzo (Satanas) is getting ready to stop in to one of the ports on the Portuguese coast between Sines and Lisbon to repair his damaged mast. Guillermo Cañardo (Peor Para El Sol) should also stop in Porto. Some of the other competitors are still holed up in ports, such as Pilar Pasanau (Peter Punk) in La Coruna, Jonas Gerckens (Netwerk) in Peniche and Aymeric Blin (Le Marin des Alpes) in Sada.

The leaders in both the one design and prototypes continue to dominate the race. Davy Beaudart (Flexirub) and Ian Lipinski (Entreprises Innovantes) had been tipped as race favourites, which to date, they have not proved the predictions wrong. For others, it is a time for familiarising themselves with the boat: such is the case for Simon Koster (Eight Cube) from Switzerland who explains that he is still going through the learning stages. It’s important to note that some of the competitors are doing well, despite their lack of experience.

Edouard Golbery (Les Enfants du Canal) and Mathieu Bourdais (Tous au Large) who are racing in the Series class, both with very little Mini Circuit racing under their belts, currently lie in 9th and 10th place respectively in the provisional standings. Many would not have imagined they would be doing so well.

Positions on 24 September at 18 :00 (TU+2):

Prototypes ( Eurovia Cegelec class):
1. Davy Beaudart – 865 – Flexirub à 353,7 milles de l’arrivée
2. Frédéric Denis – 800 – Nautipark à 48,7 nm
3. Axel Tréhin – 716 – Aleph Racing à 50,0 nm
4. Ludovic Méchin- 663 – Microvitae à 54,0 nm
5. Luke Berry – 753 – Association Rêves à 54,6 nm

Series ( Ocean Bio-Actif class):
1. Ian Lipinski – 866 – Entreprise(s) Innovante(s) à 439,0 milles de l’arrivée
2. Tanguy Le Turquais – 835 – Terréal à 19,2 nm
3. Julien Pulvé – 880 – Novintiss à 38,2 nm
4. Charly Fernbach -869- (Hénaff le Fauffiffon) à 41,8 nm
5. Patrick Girod – 824 – Nescens à 50,9 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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