Mini Transat: Last night for Series leader
Published on October 6th, 2021
(October 6, 2021; Day 10) – The whole of the fleet competing in the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef is making headway today with a very fluky NE’ly breeze both in terms of strength and direction. As a result, the 84 competitors still out on the racetrack must not only optimize their sail choices but also focus on being in step with the wind.
German sailor Melwin Fink (920 – SignForCom) is proving to be especially adept at this and has been carving out an almost perfect trajectory since yesterday. This is evidenced by the fact that he has stretched out his lead over the Austrian sailor Christian Kargl (980 – All Hands on Deck) to 140 miles, whilst extending his advantage over the peloton to over 220 miles.
Fink, who passed the latitude of Madeira midway through last night, seems to be controlling his trajectory impeccably. Aged just 19, the sailor’s background in dinghy sailing and the many miles he’s clocked up offshore on the family boat, particularly in the Baltic Sea, seem to have stood him in good stead as he’s bang on the pace in the Mini fleet.
As such, barring damage, Fink is on a direct course for victory in Santa Cruz de La Palma where he’s expected to cross the finish line between 08:00 and 10:00 UTC tomorrow as the first boat in the Series Division.
Behind Fink, Christian Kargl is due to make the finish between 03:00 and 08:00 UTC on October 8. Meantime, his pursuers, Hugo Dhallenne (979 – YC Saint Lunaire) and Julie Simon (963 – Dynamips) are expected between 09:30 and 13:30 UTC.
The small group further back, which comprises Loïc Moisand (955 – Stratos), José Linares (860 – Vamos Vamos), Gauthier Verdon (879 – TGS France), Thomas Grandin (138 – Poch’trot), Rémi Lamouret (880 – Gironde au Large), Pierre Meilhat 485 – Le Goût de la Vie), Nicolas Guibal (758 – Les œuvres de Pen Bron), and Francesco Renella (446 – Koati) is due to finish on October 10.
The final competitors, including Camille Bertel (900 – Cap Ingelec), Pilar Pasanau (240 Gemese – Peter Punk), Marc-Eric Siewert (614 – Absolute Sailing Team) and Benjamin Costa (796 – Mini Malist), look set to complete the 1,350-mile course on October 11.
The finishers will not include Victor d’Ersu (985 – Babouchka) who has retired. After colliding with a fishing boat on early October 4 offshore of the Portuguese coast, he managed to carry out a complete check of his steed in the port of Cascais, finding significant structural damage that was too much to continue.
After a one day postponement, the 23rd edition of the Mini Transat, reserved for the Mini 6.50, the smallest offshore racing class at 21-feet, got underway on September 27, 2021.
A notable proving ground for sailors with shorthanded aspirations, it is also test platform for new boat types, with 65 competitors entering in the production division for manufactured boats while the prototype division has 25 entrants with custom designs.
Held biennially, with limited participation for safety that includes strict qualification guidelines, the 4,050 nm course is divided in two parts: Les Sables d’Olonne (France) to Santa Cruz de La Palma in the Canaries (Spain), restarting on October 29 for the finish at Saint-François in Guadeloupe.
Source: Mini Transat