Mini Transat: Condensing Peloton

Published on November 10th, 2015

(November 10, 2015; Day 11) – In both the prototypes and series, the Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe race leaders have opened up the lead. However, behind them, the gaps are closing. Each one still manages to find a particular adversary against whom it’s possible compete to close the gaps. And sometimes, there’s an opportunity to get a boost by choosing to sail in sight of others. For a few hours, you are no longer alone in the Atlantic.

In the series, the duel between Ian Lipinski (Entreprises Innovantes) and Julien Pulvé (Novintiss) is hotting up. Ian took the lead of the fleet for 0.4 miles. The two of them sailed and constantly monitored each other on the AIS, as their routes were so close to each other. Behind them, Tanguy Le Turquais (Terréal) opened up a small lead over a group of three sailors : Edouard Golbery (Les Enfants du Canal), Armand de Jacquelot (We Van) and Edwin Thibon (Cœur Fidèle).

For these three, the immediate danger could still come from the south, with Charly Fernbach (Le Fauffiffon Hénaff) pushing forward in front of Rodolphe Victorri (Saint-Pierre et Miquelon) and Simon Bruniholz ( – Mini Lab). Other solo sailors seem to have adopted a strategy of social sailing, such as Olivier Taillard (Alternative Sailing – Kerhis) et Patrick Girod (Nescens).

They were both slightly slower yesterday than their immediate adversaries. Now that the wind has calmed slightly, they seem to be getting the most out of their boats. A torn mainsail could also be the cause of their loss of speed at some points. There are also moments where luck has made things go well: when Carl Chipotel’s Gwadloop crossed just behind Un Express pour Pointe-à-Pitre, it seems as if they both had the same desire to reach the end.

Further up the field, we can imagine that Jesus Jimenez Martinez (Helly Hansen Tarifa) and Guillermo Canardo (Peor Para El Sol), as long as their VHF radios had enough power, had many things to talk about in the language of Cervantes when their routes crossed. We know from experience that the solo sailors often spontaneously decide to sail together, to pass the time, which can go so slowly, and to feel less alone in the Atlantic.

Discretely, without making a song and dance about it, he has moved up among the leaders of the prototype class. Luke Berry (Association Rêves) is not a big fan of sudden bursts of speed, but he is always well placed and his progression since the beginning shows that he is a devilishly effective sailor. It’s still Luke, with Ludovic Méchin (Microvitae) and Michele Zambelli (Illumia) in his wake, who has opened up the gap with the other contenders for podium positions, such as Clément Bouyssou (Le Bon Agent – Bougeons l’Immobilier), Simon Koster (Eight Cube) and Axel Tréhin (Aleph Racing).

There are still 600 miles to go for the boats chasing Frédéric Denis (Nautipark) who is still in the lead, and anything can happen. But to show strength at the end of a marathon is one of the best signals that a competitor can send to his adversaries. At the back of the fleet, the accompanying boats that weave the thread of security all report that there is some light improvement in weather conditions and there are less conversations between competitors on the radio. It’s a well known fact: happy people don’t talk as much!

Ranking 10th November at 6pm (TU+1)

Prototypes (Eurovia Cegelec Ranking)
1 Frédéric Denis – 800 – Nautipark at 540.9,6 miles from the finish
2 Luke Berry – 753 – Association Rêves at 60.4 miles
3 Ludovic Méchin – 667 – Microvitae at 63.6 miles
4 Michele Zambelli – 788 – Illumia at 69.8 miles
5 Clément Bouyssou – 802 – Le Bon Agent – Bougeons l’Immobilier at 90.5 miles

Séries (Ocean Bio-Actif Ranking)
1 Julien Pulvé – 880 – Novintiss at 724 miles from the finish
2 Ian Lipinski – 866 – Entreprises Innovantes at 0.7 miles
3 Tanguy Le Turquais – 835 – Terréal at 55.7 miles
4 Edouard Golbery – 514 – Les Enfants du Canal at 85.9 miles
5 Armand De Jacquelot– 721 – We van at 102.4 miles

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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