Final night for Mini Transat leader
Published on November 11th, 2021
(November 11, 2021; Day 14) – The lead prototypes in the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef are expected to make landfall in Saint-François tomorrow, with Pierre Le Roy (1019 – TeamWork) having been in the driver’s seat for six days already at the head of the fleet, and is continuing to consolidate his lead and with it his place as champion of the 2,700-mile passage that makes up the second leg.
Behind him, barring technical glitches, Fabio Muzzolini (945 – Tartine sans Beurre) looks set to hang onto his current second place. However, things could be a little trickier for Tanguy Bouroullec (969 – Tollec MP /Pogo). Indeed, though the winner of the first leg is assured of a podium place in the overall ranking, there’s a chance he may be pipped at the post in this second leg by Sébastien Pebelier (787 – Décosail) or Irina Gracheva (800 – Path).
According to the latest routing, Le Roy is expected across the finish line tomorrow between 07:00 and 09:00 hours local time (between 11:00 and 13:00 UTC), with a lead of nearly 10 hours ahead of Muzzolini, and nearly double that over the third skipper. The latter should be Bouroullec, current leader in the provisional ranking, but he was recently handicapped by technical woes.
However, his woes were to have been resolved yesterday, though he has not revealed what they were and whether they may return, thus potentially leaving the door open for two serious contenders – Sébastien Pebelier and Irina Gracheva. The former is directly in his wake, around twenty miles behind. The second is positioned around forty miles further south. For all of them, the final gybe will be vital in lining themselves up for the sprint finish.
Amongst the production boats, the latest update suggests the leaders are expected by November 14, from 09:00 local time, or 12 noon UTC. Alberto Riva (993 – EdiliziAcrobatica) and Giammarco Sardi (992 – Antistene) may well be the first to make landfall and fly the flag for Italy in a remake of the last edition, in 2019, with the dazzling victory posted by Ambrogio Beccaria.
However, it’s still anyone’s game, especially given the fact that, since yesterday, the leaders have squeezed up together again.
This is evidenced today by the fact that the top five are now grouped within a 20-mile radius, Jean Cruse (910 – Ini Mini Myni Mo) and Hugo Dhallenne (979 – YC Saint Lunaire) having notably made up ground on Loïc Blin (872 – Technique Voile – Les Entrepreneurs du Golfe) and the two transalpine skippers. For them, the last 600 miles are set to be tight to the finish.
After a one day postponement due to storms, the 23rd edition of the Mini Transat, reserved for the Mini 6.50, the smallest offshore racing class at 21-feet, saw the first stage get 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