Broken rudder in Mini Transat

Published on November 2nd, 2023

Peter Gibbons-Neff (USA), the lone North American among the 87 remaining competitors in the 24th edition of La Boulangère Mini Transat, broke his rudder and has diverted south to the Cape Verde Islands to make repairs. The fleet started this second leg of the race on October 28, racing their 21-foot Mini Class boats on the 2700 nm course from Santa Cruz de La Palma to Saint-François, Guadeloupe.

In line with the Mini Transat race rules, he is permitted to make a stop over to complete a technical repair:
22.1 Each boat can stop anywhere anytime. Once anchored or docked, other people can come on board. Provision and repairs are allowed. Towing to enter and exit the harbour is allowed with a 2 nm limit and must not advance the boat towards the finishing line, in accordance with RRS 42.3(i).

22.2 Technical stopover cannot be longer than 72 hours per leg, all stopovers combined. Minimum time for each stopover is 12 hours. Time is counted from the moment the boat is ashore until the moment it resumes the race.

Competitors who do not respect these durations will be scored as TLE without a hearing on the related leg.

There is a marina on the island of São Vicente, but the extent of the damage is not known.

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After a one day postponement due to storms, the 24th 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 25, 2023.

Ninety solo sailors entered the 2023 Mini Transat with the competitors placed in divisions for prototype and production boats.

A notable proving ground for sailors with shorthanded aspirations, it is also test platform for new boat types, with competitors entering in the production division for manufactured boats and the prototype division for custom designs.

Held biennially, with limited participation for safety that includes strict qualification guidelines, the 4,050 nm course is divided in two parts with the combined elapsed time to determine the results:

September 25: Les Sables d’Olonne (France) to Santa Cruz de La Palma in the Canaries (Spain) – 1350 nm
October 28: Santa Cruz de La Palma in the Canaries (Spain) to Saint-François in Guadeloupe – 2700 nm

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