Mini Transat: South or West

Published on November 3rd, 2015

(November 3, 2015; Day 4) – Paradoxically the thrill of the Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe lies in a mixture of great joys and severe disappointments and bitter failures. Following the retirement of Davy Beaudart, it is Radek Kowalczyk’s turn to throw in the towel after having to abandon his brand new Calbud.

It is a harsh blow for the Polish sailor. Radek was innovative in his concept of having the prototype be built in series, hoping to encourage new vocations and inspire sailors of less fortunate means to dive into the prototype experience, allowing each to fix and fiddle with his own boat from a common basis.

In 2011, Radek completed his first participation in the Mini Transat, on an old prototype, fired by the promise of returning on a much more powerful boat. He had to wait until 2015 to fulfill his dreams, but the adventure will not see completion. The Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe loses a particularly endearing, unassuming sailor.

For the rest of the fleet, things look brighter. For most, life is now focused on the best route to reach Guadeloupe, weather updates and daily checks around sensitive points, rigging, rudders, sails etc. As expected, the fleet has started to turn west before reaching the Cape Verde archipelago. However, the skippers are facing a true dilemma. The wind is still stronger in the south and everyone is confronted by the same question: how far are they going to lengthen the route?

In the series ranking, there are three boats sailing boat to boat. Ian Lipinski (Entreprises Innovantes) is still ahead of Benoît Hantzperg (YCA Dhumeaux Secours Populaire) and Julien Pulvé (Novintiss). In fourth position, Tanguy Le Turquais (Terréal) will cross some of the fierce competitors who did very well on the first stage, like Charly Fernbach (Le Fauffiffon Hénaff) or Armand de Jacquelot (We Van), and also some nice surprises like Edwin Thibon (Cœur Fidèle) or Mathieu Bourdais (Tous au Large).

On the prototypes, Frédéric Denis (Nautipark) has widened the gap. He is now 40 miles away from his opponents. Only Jean Baptiste Daramy (Chocolats Paries Corolies Composites) and Simon Koster (Eight Cube) further south seem not to be following in his wake. When the leader makes good choices, it is difficult to make different ones without taking any unnecessary risks. But sometimes it is the price of success.

Ranking 3rd November at 18h (TU+1)
Prototypes (Ranking Eurovia Cegelec)
1 Frédéric Denis – 800 – Nautipark à 2195,2 milles de l’arrivée
2 Jean-Baptiste Daramy – 814 – Chocolats Paries à 41,1 milles
3 Michele Zambelli – 788 – Illumia à 48,9 milles
4 Ludovic Méchin – 667 – Microvitae à 53,2 milles
5 Clément Bouyssou – 802 – Le Bon Agent – Bougeons l’Immobilier à 56,8 milles

Séries (Ranking Ocean Bio-Actif)

1 Ian Lipinski – 866 – Entreprises Innovantes à 2257,9 milles de l’arrivée
2 Benoît Hantzperg – 871 – YCA Dhumeaux Secours Populaire à 7,5 milles
3 Julien Pulvé – 880 – Novintiss à 8,7 milles
4 Tanguy Le Turquais – 835 – Terréal à 45,8 milles
5 Dimitri Simons – 758 – Teamsolo.nlà 54,9 milles

Race websiteRace programTracker


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

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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