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Mini Transat: Should I Stay or Should I Go

Published on November 1st, 2015

Lanzarote, Canary Islands (November 1, 2015) – A sustained wind, getting their bearings on board after a three-week stopover, a chaotic sea…conditions were favourable for some minor breakages as the fleet begins the second stage of the Mini Transat – Îles de Guadeloupe. Many solo racers have already planned a pit stop following the start on October 31st.

It is kind of recurrent law: as long as the conditions are a bit tough, each race start (or leg start for the Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe) results in minor breakage. When in the middle of the Atlantic, the question of choice does not arise, but the situation changes when a stopover becomes possible.

The first of the competitors to return to shore was Frederick port Mesel (Double Trouble), who headed back to Arrecife seriously doubtful about the interest in continuing after breaking one of his rudders. The enthusiasm of his relatives and the encouragement of his buddies who stayed in Lanzarote convinced him to set off again with a brand new morale.

Others have diverted to Fuerteventura, such as Davy Beaudart (Flexirub), who suffered a tear in his medium spinnaker, and Nacho Postigo (Vamos Vamos), a broken rudder. For Davy, it is a harsh blow. The Lorient skipper has been forced to retire due its technical issues. Nacho Postigo, for his part, has really been biting the bullet. The string of setbacks he has overcome since the start of the race, have made him a touch philosophical. They will both announce their intentions to the race direction in the coming hours.

For some, misfortune persists. Maxime Eveillard (Heli Strategy) tore his mainsail on the first night and plans on doing a stopover in on one of the Canary Islands. Yann Claverie (MAP Product) is also en route to Gran Canaria.

Most notable retirement is Davy Beaudart (Flexirub), the winner of the prototype class in the first stage. The skipper from Lorient has been forced to retire due to equipment problems.

Others chose not to be daunted by the events and decided to forge ahead, even handicapped. Roland Ventura (Fondation Planiol), despite a loose gooseneck and a torn 5 code, has chosen to continue his race. He will be repairing it on the Atlantic. This is also what Pierre-Marie Bazin (Voiles des Anges) decided. With a broken push rod, damaged tiller, he decided to carry on to deliver to his boat across the Atlantic. When one is an agent of a humanitarian project as strong as his, it is a kind of moral duty not to give up the fight.

Ahead of the fleet, the leaders continue to push hard along the Mauritanian coast. The wind eased a little and averages drop in the beginning of night. They are closer to 10 knots than the 15-16 knots prevailing at the start. On a southerly route, Benedict Hantzperg (YCA Dhumeaux Secours Populaire) is still leading the way, while some racers already seem to be reassessing their route along the great circle, like Olivier Taillard (Alternative Sailing – Kerhis) or the Russian Yuri Firsov (Magnum Sports), aiming for the podium of the series boats.

In prototype, there is close competition between Clément Bouyssou (Le Bon Agent – Bougeons l’Immobilier), Frédéric Denis (Nautipark), Simon Koster (Eight Cube), Ludovic Méchin (Microvitae) and Luke Berry (Association Rêves). Davy Beaudart’s pit stop inevitably has inevitably whetted the appetites.

After the 20-25 knots during the night, the trade wind dropped to 12 knots, accompanied by sunny skies


The Race
72 entries
71 boats at the start in Douarnenez
63 boats at the start in Lanzarote
7 support boats

The Skippers
68 men
4 women
52 rookies
20 return competitors
33 years average age
The youngest: 22 years old (Julien Hereu and Quentin Vlamynck)
The oldest: 56 years old (Carlos Lizancos)
15 nationalities

The Course
4021nm, 2 stopovers, 3 towns
Douarnenez – Lanzarote 1257nm
Lanzarote – Pointe-à-Pitre 2764nm

Key Dates
7th October 2015 – Prize Giving 1st Stage in Lanzarote
24th October 2015 – Prologue and Prize Giving (Lanzarote)
31st October 2015 – Start 2nd Stage: Lanzarote – Point-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe)
14th November 2015 – Estimated arrival time for the first boat at Point-à-Pitre

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 had a 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).


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