Mini Transat: Leaders to Arrive by Friday

Published on November 11th, 2015

(November 11, 2015; Day 12) – When the Mini Transat leaders touch land in Guadeloupe, some will still have half of the Atlantic to cross before tasting a restorative ti punch, and meeting their friends and family. To top their misfortune, the trade winds which have blown vigorously so far, will weaken for a few days.

At the front of the leaders, Frédéric Denis in prototype, and the Lipinski – Pulvé duo in series boats, continue alone. Behind them, the suspense remains about who will end up being placed. The last stages before Guadeloupe will be decisive.

Damage leading to a stopover, a bad choice of route and lack of speed, are just some of the reasons that can take you to the back of the peloton.

For some, the race was decided from the start in Lanzarote when they realised that they had to have a stopover. This was the case for Yann Claverie (MAP Product) who turned back to Gran Canaria, Fred de Mesel (Double Trouble) who returned to Lanzarote to repair one of his rudders, and Nacho Postigo (Vamos Vamos), forced to land in Fuerteventura. All of them started off again, but the wind that had accompanied the leaders of the fleet was not there for them. Doomed from the start to sail a totally different race, they have had to be patient in adversity, to take their troubles with good humour, and find other consolations.

One imagines that for Nacho Postigo, it’s all about taking revenge on the bad luck that has hung over him since the start of the race. As a seasoned racer on prestigious boats such as TP 52, he was aiming for a very different personal adventure on the Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe.

Two other competitors had to stop in the Cape Verde Islands: François Jambou (Design and Build) and Dominik Lenk ( Starting again in last place, while competitors in front of them had already decided to put an end to their adventure, Francis and Dominik have demonstrated exemplary toughness that will surely be given the welcome it deserves in Pointe-à-Pitre.

For others, the choice of route was particularly punishing. For this 2015 edition, there was no strategic alternative. Outside the southern route, there was no salvation. Despite this, there were a few wanting to tempt fate, such as the Russian Yuri Firsov (Magnum Sports), the Italian Federico Cuciuc (Zero @& T), the chinese Jingkun Xu (China Dream) and also, Michelet Sylvain (A chacun son Everest).

They had to settle for variable winds, sometimes at speeds below 6 knots, while the rest of the fleet was speeding at nearly 10 knots in the south. For them, the rankings put together by the race directors and broadcasted by the BLU every lunchtime must have been an awful chore. One such competitor, interviewed after the first stage, had found the solution: turn off the radio after the weather information and don’t wait for the details of the respective positions.

Lastly, there’s the cohort of those who came for adventure, without any more ambition than to cross the Atlantic at their own pace and to have fun, no matter what. Their philosophy is “Slowly and surely wins the race” rather than “Show no fear”. This is another way of sailing an equally respectable race, chosen by January Heinze (Lonestar), Aitor Ocerin (Iparbeltz), Andy Abel (Pepen) and Lizzy Foreman (Hudson Wight).

In the end, some will be disappointed; those who have not managed to find their rhythm, or those who have been handicapped by technical glitches. Those who came with other ambitions, such as Quentin Vlamynck (Arkema), Hervé Aubry (Ixina – HSD Sails) or Mathieu Bourdais (Tous au Large). For them, the crossing risks seeming particularly long. But, whether they devour the sea at high speed or take it step by step, they all will deserve to say: “I sailed the Mini.”

Ranking on 11th November at 15 :00 (TU+1):

Séries (Ranking Ocean Bio-Actif)
1 Ian Lipinski – 866 – Entreprises Innovantes : 553.4 miles from the finish
2 Julien Pulvé – 880 – Novintiss : 1.0 miles
3 Tanguy Le Turquais – 835 – Terréal : 87.8 miles
4 Edouard Golbery – 514 – Les Enfants du Canal : 112.8 miles
5 Armand de Jacquelot – 755 – We Van : 133.1 miles

Prototypes (Ranking Eurovia Cegelec)
1 Frédéric Denis – 800 – Nautipark : 334.9 miles from the finish
2 Michele Zambelli – 788 – Illumia : 71.7 miles
3 Luke Berry – 753 – Association Rêves : 72.4 miles
4 Clément Bouyssou – 802 – Le Bon Agent – Bougeons l’Immobilier : 108.6 miles
5 Axel Tréhin – 716 – Aleph Racing : 126.9 miles
Non localisé : Ludovic Méchin – 667 – Microvitae

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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