Mini Transat: One More Week

Published on November 5th, 2015

(November 5, 2015; Day 6) – A 5-mile gap separates the first prototype from the fourth in the Mini Transat – Îles de Guadeloupe. In series, it is also a constant battle between the two Ofcet boats, with a strong lead over more than 40 miles ahead of the third one. At this pace, the first could reach Guadeloupe as soon as the afternoon of November 12th.

In prototype division, it is between Clément Bouyssou (Le Bon Agent! Bougeons l’Immobilier) and Axel Tréhin (Aleph Racing) that are racing a short distance from each other on the same side. Having an opponent hot on your heels allows for assessing the trim of the sails. In any case, the racers are making fast progress to Guadeloupe and we seem to be moving towards a new record time to beat between the Canaries and the Caribbean.

Behind the two leaders, Frederic Denis (Nautipark) seems to be back in control. Positioned further south, he is in a favourable position to quickly get back ahead of the fleet. Positioned several hours at reduced speed, Fred certainly had to solve a technical problem: a broken bowsprit, a torn sail, an autopilot problem? All hypotheses are possible, but the 40-mile advantage he had patiently been accumulating melted like snow in the sun.

The fourth is none other than Méchin Ludovic (Microvitae), also still in the race for the final victory. It would be a bizarre turnaround for him, having been left out of the prototypes ranking in 2013. Moreover, a victory would mean his boat was the first in history to have won the Mini Transat three times.

In series division, the Ofcet, particularly comfortable in these conditions, are leading the way. Designed for high speeds, they sail incredibly well in this messy sea. Tanguy Le Turquais (Terreal) tries to compensate for his speed deficit by the quality oh his sailing, but is followed closely by Edwin Thibon (Coeur fidèle), fourth, and Edward Golbery (Les Enfants du Cannale) in a very southern position. Edward was visibly shaken, as he as communicated to one of the support boats that he had hit a whale and there had been some ensuing damage.

Lizzy Foreman (Hudson Wight) has announced she has torn her two spinnakers. Roland Ventura (Fondation Planiol) was very pleased to announce that he had managed to fix all technical problems he was struggling with since the first night. The Italian-born skipper had also planned a unique initiative for this second leg, for he planned on throwing a bottle into the sea with a word of thanks to all who helped him set up his project. A nice way to keep alive the Mini Transat overseas.

After Maxime Eveillard’s pigeon in the first stage, Roland Ventura’s bottle is evidence of the persistence of the rebellious spirit so particular of the Mini community. In the age of social media, allowing things their own time is a luxury that has become rare.

Ranking 5th November at 3pm (TU+1):

Series (Ocean Bio-Actif Ranking)
1 Ian Lipinski – 866 – Entreprises Innovantes at 1860,5 milles from the finish
2 Julien Pulvé – 880 – Novintiss à 3,6 milles
3 Tanguy Le Turquais – 835 – Terréal à 48,3 milles
4 Edwin Thibon – 721 – Cœur Fidèle à 66,9 milles
5 Antonio Fontes – 745 – Vela Solidaria à 70,0 milles

Prototypes (Eurovia Cegelec Rankiing)
1 Clément Bouyssou – 802 – Le Bon Agent – Bougeons l’Immobilier at 1768,3 milles from the finish
2 Axel Tréhin – 716 – Aleph Racing à 0,2 milles
3 Frédéric Denis – 800 – Nautipark à 2,0 milles
4 Ludovic Méchin – 667 – Microvitae à 3,7 milles
5 Luke Berry – 753 – Association Rêves à 16,5 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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