View Full Version : 2013 Mini Transat On Their Way

10-29-2013, 08:56 AM

The Mini Transat got underway on Tuesday, October 29 at 9:19 (local time ) in a building wind of about 12 knots, gusting up towards 30.



Numbers 816 (Richard Hewson, RG650.com), 198 (Sébastien Picault Kickers) and 667 (Benoît Marie, benoitmarie.com) claimed the best starts. Everything went well under clear skies and with farily rough seas (about 1.50m swell). The committee boat end was favoured.

Two incidents to note
- N° 850 ( Stan Maslard, Sefico Group ) returned to port to a technical problem. The repair is underway.

- A collision between 587 and 791 forced both boats return to port. The two competitors do not yet know whether they will be able to return to the race.



The course 2013: returns to its origins
Leg 1 - Douarnenez to Puerto Calero (Lanzarote): 1257 miles.
Leg 2 - Puerto Calero to Pointe-à-Pitre: 2764 miles.

Prologue "Tout commence en Finistère" October 6, 2013.
Start from Douarnenez October 13, 2013 at 13h. Arrival in the Canary Islands between 23 and 26 October

Start from Canary Islands November 9, 2013. Arrival in Guadeloupe between 23 and 30 November 2013.







Dutch Rudder
10-29-2013, 10:20 AM
Must be like getting out of jail for those sailors!

PD Staff
10-30-2013, 09:27 AM
The Race Director of the Mini Transat has decided to implement plan B, which had been mentioned before the start at the last competitor briefing. The fleet will now stop at the port of Sada, near La Coruna, to wait for the strong winds from the south-west that will sweep Cape Finisterre, on 1 and 2 November to moderate and go northwest. The fleet is expected to arrive in the area on the night of October 31 to November 1.


This is the charm and complexity of the organisation of a race like the Mini Transat. Between those competing at a high level and those for whom this race is the adventure of a lifetime, there is a difference on how to run the boat. While the former are constantly looking for performance, others do not have any other objective than to run their business at their own pace. At the same time, crossing the Bay of Biscay reqires a weather window of about four days to clear the entire fleet.

The window seemed to have finally opened yesterday morning, but conditions are deteriorating in Finisterre again, hence the decision of the Race Director who does not want to take any risk with the tail end of the fleet. The Race Director has chosen to anticipate the decision to warn the front runners before the point where the strategic options open up for the fleet, this to ensure sporting fairness. A finish line will be set up in Sada. The ranking of the first leg will the accumulated times for Douarnenez - Sada and Sada - Lanzarote. Competitors were warned by VHF through the intermediary of the support boats and by BLU of the weather break. A confirmation of receipt was requested for each competitor.


Single Hander
10-31-2013, 01:03 PM
Without doubt the Bay of Biscay wins this year. Although the Mini Transat fleet had eaten up nearly two-thirds of the Bay of Biscay, the grib files are showing a further deterioration in conditions compared to those expected at the time of the start. At 19.00 tonight the Race Director took the decision to cancel the first leg to allow competitors to reach port safely.

Several parameters were involved in the final decision. First was the concern to preserve the security of the slower competitors (who are often also the least experienced), during the course of the morning the Race Director advised those boats who were still a long way from the finish line to proceed south towards the Cantabrian coast and Gijon where conditions should be much more manageable .

In doing so, nearly forty competitors immediately decided to proceed to the Asturian port. Under these conditions the sporting fairness of the leg might be undermined. Moreover, although the leading prototypes were almost assured of reaching Sada before the arrival of bad weather, the situation was much more critical for the group leading the series boats, which were located about 90 miles from the entrance to the Sada estuary at 16.00.

Once all boats are safe in the Cantabrian ports, the organisation will take the most appropriate measures to provide a new start to Lanzarote at the first available opportunity.

Looks like Leg One has been abandoned due to yet another major front headed towards the fleet!

The Flash
10-31-2013, 01:28 PM
that sux

11-05-2013, 07:24 AM

After reviewing all the options open to them, the organisers of the Mini Transat , in consultation with the competitors, have finally decided that the 2013 edition of the race will be run as a single leg, from Sada to Pointe-a-Pitre. The start is scheduled for November 12.

The decision is made, and it break the feeling of uncertainty that had began to weigh on everyone's minds. And once again the organisers of the Mini Transat have, in an unconventional way, choosen an original solution : to go directly to Pointe a Pitre, removing the Lanzarote stopover.


The way to Puerto Calero

This choice responds to several constraints regarding the rally from Sada to Gijón, it is a trip of more than 160 miles, or 24 to 36 hours, in conditions that may not necessarily be very easy : the prevailing westerly winds, residual high waves residue, coastal navigation requiring vigilance. In the first of the briefings in Gijon, the competitors requested that a stop of at least 48 hours be observed after the arrival of the last competitor in the Galician port. In adding this new delay the time available for the turnaround time in Lanzarote is compromised, which has the knock on effect of also compromising the arrival date in Guadeloupe.

The choice of the direct route can catch some of the delay caused by the bad weather. However, the fleet will race through a gate near Lanzarote that will establish an intermediate classification before crossing the Atlantic. In addition, competitors who wish may make an express stop at Puerto Calero if they wish to make repairs before undertaking the crossing. Finally, although this leg with be the longest distance in the history of the Mini Transat (about 3,600 miles as opposed to 3,1000 for Madeira to Salvador de Bahia), it could well be shorter in time, because it avoids crossing through the Doldrums. The arrival of the first boats could be celebrated around the 1st of December.


Logistical issues

Originally, the Race Director wanted to be able to start on November 11. But there are a number of logistical issues to resolve. Firstly, many competitors had sent equipment to Lanzarote in anticipation of the stopover there and it is necessary to repatriate that equpment to Sada. Computers, stores and especially freeze-dried food, clothing suitable for sailing in the tropics, all these need to be returned quickly to the Galician port. Logistics are being put in place, but to ensure that everyone can recover their equipment the start is moved to November 12. As of this afternoon, the first soloists begin passaging to Sada. Some have already decided to wait until tomorrow when the wind should begin to drop. Within days, the entire Mini family will be reunited and on a war footing to take a historic step. Certainly, this race is unlike any other!


Single Hander
11-05-2013, 09:07 AM
Must be very frustrating for competitor and organizers alike. The removal of the the stop over makes sense.

Pray for better weather!

PD Staff
11-11-2013, 02:00 PM

The Mini Transat is finally ready to set sail
A north-easterly flow is on its way
The Canaries in four days?


So tomorrow, Tuesday, November 12, at 17.30 local time the start for the race from Sada to Pointe a Pitre will take place. The wind is moving into the northern sector, allowing the Minis sail in their favourite way, carrying the breeze from behind. More importantly, the start would not have been possible without the determination of the competitors and the extraordinary chain of solidarity that has been unbroken since the start from Douarnenez.



images courtesy Mini Transat 2013

Finally! For the first time since October 13, the Azores anticyclone has deigned to give the race a break and northerly winds are forecast for the tip of Spain. For the Minis, docked in Sada since October 30 or who have been making the tough passage between Gijon and the Galician port, it will be time to do what they came to do, an exceptional race to Guadeloupe on the other side of the Atlantic. The last delivery convoy competitors, who had chosen to wait until the weather moderated considerably in the area, arrived between midnight and early morning with the exception of the Estonian Jaanus Tamme (Ropeye ) who arrived in the late afternoon. The weather forecasts indicate a sustained north to north-easterly wind which should allow for rapidly progress downwind. There is a real strategic choice for the competitors. The optimised routings offer a route well offshore from Cape Finisterre with the risk of encountering up to or more than 35 knot winds. Alternatively they can follow a a route close to the coast that offers much more manageable conditions, so it is a real choice of which path the competitors will chose according to their strategy, their ability to perform well in the breeze, and their desire to wrestle with the elements.


An example of solidarity

Tonight at 19.00, the competitors have their final briefing before the big leap. This is an opportunity to make a last weather check to review the conditions for a technical stop (not less than 12 hours and not more than 72 hours) to dissect one last time the course and the Puerto Calero gate, located in front of the city of Arrecife. If the Mini Transat is finally underway, it is largely thanks to a chain of solidarity that has rallied around the event. It is through the contacts established over many years between the Finistérien and Galician event organisers that it was possible to implement the Sada stopover. Similarly, the links established between Douarnenez and Gijon during the Barquera helped in the mobilization of officials from Marina Gijon who have bent over backwards to assist the nearly seventy Minis who arrived unexpected on their pontoons. Puerto Calero in Lanzarote, is obviously disappointed not to be able to welcome the fleet, but the port officials have already said that this is only a postponement. In Guadeloupe, the authorities in Pointe à Pitre have rescheduled the planned festivities so that the maximum number of competitors can participate. The tenacious competitors, the partners who have been able to respond in a timely manner; despite the uncertainties with which the organizer of the 2013 edition have had to juggle the Mini Transat is still as fit as a fiddle. By navigating the 3,700 miles that will take them to Pointe a Pitre, the fleet is preparing to write a unique new page in the history books of a race that remains decidedly atypical.


What they say:

Bertrand Nardin, Président de Douarnenez Courses

"Despite all the hardships and misfortunes, a new start for the Mini Transat is well underway. It has been difficult for everyone, firstly for the competitors who have faced difficult weather conditions, endless frustrations and had to deal with complex choices on the rally to Sada. I also think that the organising team has found the flexibility to adapt to the stresses generated by the situation. Finally, without the chain of support that we found in both Gijon and Sada, and without the renewed confidence of our partners in Puerto Calero or Pointe-à-Pitre, the Mini Transat would have had to face much more significant turbulence. I thank them ... "

Jacques Bangou, Maire de Pointe-à-Pitre

"In Pointe-à-Pitre we have been working attentively on this epic challenge for many months. We welcome the news that a start can finally be made for what will be a new adventure, a long race, a great race. We stand ready and you look forward to welcoming you with impatience. We wish you fair winds. "

List of competitors racing as of 11 November 2013 available Here! (http://www.minitransat.fr/sites/www.minitransat.fr/files/pdf/131111-liste_skippers_mt-v2.pdf)


The sole American entry, Jeffery MacFarlane (http://jefferymacfarlane.com/) is taking advantage of the delay in hopes of making the new start!

There were some early casualties, among them one of the race favorites, American Jeffrey MacFarlane. After losing his mast on October 31, race management forced him to abandon the boat and board the safety vessel. Since returning to shore, MacFarlane was been tirelessly working to retrieve his boat and continue in the race.

“I am still trying to do everything I can to continue,” MacFarlane reports. “I am sourcing a few second hand masts, as it’s not possible to have a new one built in this short of time. French sailmaker All Purpose is on standby to make me new sails. The main problem is that the boat is still 120nm from Spain and 140nm from the French coast. The issue now is getting a salvage company, or really anyone with a motor boat, to help me retrieve the boat. It seems no one wants to travel more then 50/60 miles from the coast. The weather lately is not helping either. I am hoping for more positive news over the next couple of days. It has been, and will continue to be, a hard pressed effort, that is for sure.”

- See more at: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2013/11/06/mini-transat-american-jeffrey-macfarlane-racing-clock/#sthash.oeXx76QW.dpuf

11-12-2013, 09:31 AM
After 30 days of delay, what's another 24 hours?


This morning the Race Director posted an amendment regarding a postponement of fifteen hours to the start of the race from Sada to Pointe-à-Pitre. The new warning signal will be given on Wednesday 13 November at 9am.

There are two reasons behind this new start: first, according to the race meteorologist, the fleet might encounter strong winds with a risk of winds gusting over 40 knots off Cape Finisterre. More importantly, the passage of a front overnight will cause heavy rain and very low visibility. To send a fleet of over 70 boats out at night into in a high traffic area where many fishing boats do not have AIS was an added complication in the circumstances. In many ways, given all the incidents and adventures of the Mini fleet since its departure from Douarnenez, this delay is only a small hiccup ...

El Capitan
11-12-2013, 10:29 AM
Better safe than sorry!

11-13-2013, 11:11 AM

At precisely 9:37 the first signal of the starting procedure for this single leg of the Mini Transat between Sada (Galicia) and Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe) was made. Eight minutes later, the fleet swept across the line, out of the estuary and finally left Sada behind and headed for the open sea.

They initially crossed the line in a north westerly of around 9 knots. Off the line it was Ludovic Méchin (5) prototype and Alberto Bona (507) series boat who headed their fleets. Competitors then took a look starboard tack out of the estuary and set sail to round the Sisargas Islands, the first mark of course mark before they head for Cape Finisterre.

Jaanus Tamme (787), the Estonian competitor and Elise Bakhoum (548) have decided not to start.


All images © Jacques Vapillon / mini transat 2013


It was a beautiful start ... It was as if the elements had finally come together to reward the tenacity of the players in this Mini Transat 2013. A light north wind and welcome rays of sunshine accompanied the fleet out of the Sada estuary before spinnakers could be hoisted, as the single handers swept past the the Tower of Hercules and then La Coruna.



Good start. At 9:45, Patrick Maurin, the President of the Race Committee liberated the fleet of 73 single handers who had come to the starting line. Missing were Jaanus Tamme (Ropeye) and Elise Bakhoum (Qéramix), who felt that they had already exhausted their emotional reserves and could do no more. The Belgian Sophie de
Clercq (Ville de Marseillan) had been undecided about whether she will be able to start the second stage. For the past two days she has been subject to sudden spells of dizziness and has been consulting with medical advisers at Sada Hospital who have not yet been able to identify a specific cause for her discomfort. In the end, knowing that she could be putting others into danger if she went ahead, Sophie decided, in agreement with the race organisers, to throw in the towel. Knowing how to identify and assess the risks that we take for oneself and for others is all part of being a good sailor. In Sophie the Mini Transat loses one of the competitors who
truly represent the essence of the race.



The favourites are peaking

Out of the start line, it was Ludovic Méchin (Paris Texas) that got this tip of his bow over the line first, while in series boats Alberto Bona (Onelinesim.it) also got an advantage over the rest of the fleet. As the northerly wind quickly increased by a few knots, the situation was changing rapidly and it wasn't long before the big guns were
making their presence known at the front of the fleets. By the entrance to the bay, it was Gwénolé Gahinet (Watever / Logways) who led the fleet, followed by Nicolas Boidevezi (Nature Addicts) and Louis Segre (Roll My Chicken). In the series boats, Yannick Le Clech (Diaoulic 692) got the better of Ian Lipinski (Pas de futur
sans Numérique). For Yannick it was a nice nod to his friend Damien Cloarec, who was forced to abandon the race due to a persistent tendinitis. These guys from the Bay of Morlaix truly know what brotherhood means.


Little by little the wind rose and Nicolas Boidevezi approached Cape Finisterre at 16.00 with a comfortable lead over his rivals having already gained a buffer of eight miles bonus on a pack led by Benoît Marie (benoitmarie.com) and Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian), the speeds of the leading group regularly hitting 17 to 18
knots .

Jonas Gerkens (Netwerk 2) on his Pogo was mising it up with the prototype fleet at an average speed of more than 12 knots. The other leaders, in descending order, obviously opted for caution with Bertrand Delesne (TeamWork Proto) heading Gwénolé Gahinet . Finally, at the back of the fleet, several competitors have madeit clear they will be taking their own route. For example, Yoann Tricault (Schulter Systems) clearly has no intention of being dictated to by the leaders and had been gradually picking up pace as he finds his feet. The key is to arrive first. Bearing in mind that anyone needing to make a stopover for repairs is required to layover for a minimum of twelve hour stopover its easy to see how quickly places can be gained by those who manage
their boats best.


First Damage

Obviously, putting the boats through such tough conditions has an impact on equipment. Some competitors have already reported damage. Annabelle Boudinot (Agro 650) broke her bowsprit but has a spare sprit on board and should be able to fix it quickly. Axel Tréhin (Ty Startigenn) has suffered the same punishment and will try to jury rig with equipment he has at hand to avoid a forced stop. However, Joel Miro Garcia (Dame Argo) has headed into the port of Camarinas after informing a support boat that he has broken one of his two rudders.


Between the Sisargas Islands, west of La Coruna, and the southern tip of Cape Finisterre, the coast has earned the nickname of "The Coast Of Death". It is understandable that some have chosen to push their machines hard to get this rugged landscape, that can give those of a nervous disposition an unpleasant frisson,
well and truly behind their transoms. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of miles ahead of them and, as the fleet was wisely reminded by the routing information and the good advice that accompanied it for the Ministes, "The important thing is not to go fast for four hours, but to keep up a good steady pace for four days or more ... "

Especially since it seems that the fleet is on track to maintain these strong conditions all the way to the islands of Lanzarote and La Palma. Others reply that you have to make hay while the sun shines. To each his own truth ... one thing is certain, only the winner will be right.
Tracker (http://www.minitransat.fr/cartographie?lang=en)


11-14-2013, 08:34 PM
They say that the "Portuguese trade winds" rarely herald a walk in the park, and the passage round Cape Finisterre and the descent along the coast of Galicia have done nothing to disprove this rule. Instead of the expected winds of 25 knots, the fleet has been confronted by a gale. With varying degrees of success ...

The aim was to find the balance, to maintain good pace without pushing the boat too hard. Pushed down the track by a strengthening breeze, some Ministes have struggled to put the brakes on overnight. The accompanying support boat La Pampero, reported that their boat speed we peaking at in excess of 15 knots and they were being overtaken by some competitors on the attack. In these conditions its difficult to avoid broaching, sometimes with disasterous consequences.

In such beam seas at high speed the rudder is under a disproportionate load. It's therefore unsurprising that overnight several competitors announced they have experienced rudder problems, thanks to failure of their fittings. This is particularly the case for Clement Bouyssou, who is uncertain as to whether he wishes to rejoin the race. The navigator of No War came to win and has no desire to spend the rest of his race to watching from afar as the favorites fight for victory. Ian Lipinski (Pas de Futur sans Numérique) is another of the more serious outsiders who sees his hopes of victory dashed having been dismasted. Yannick Le Clech (Diaoulic 692) had high hopes, especially since his race start was perfect. However, having been dismasted too he has not made a final decision. After specifying that did not require assistance, he is sailing to Cascais under jury rig, where he hopes to rerig quickly and put to sea again as soon as possible .

For now, the conditions have improved in the area. For the competitors closest to land, the sea has subsided considerably and the wind has dropped to around fifteen knots. Almost a holiday, especially as the sun made ​​an appearance in the area.

The headliners at the rendezvous

In prototypes, Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) has clearly been able to demonstrate that the special bow shape of his Reason design is equally competitive in these downwind conditions. The Italian navigator has regained the lead in the standings as of 12 noon, and has an 18 nautical mile (nm) lead over Benoit Marie (benoitmarie.com) and more than 20 nm on Bertrand Delesne (TeamWork Proto). This gap may sound significant, but, based on the current average speed of the boats, is only just over an hour. In theSeries boats, Aymeric Belloir (Tout le Monde chante contre le Cancer) and Simon Koster ( Go 4 It) have built a small gap on the rest of the fleet, which is led by Justine Mettraux (TeamWork) who, after a cautious start, has been working her way gradually to the forefront . In fourth, the amazing Robert Rosen Jacobson (Postillion Hotels) confirms once again that the doyen of the race is at ease in the breeze. But with physical age can come mental strength. And in this field, Robert could remonstrate with many.


Technical stops and retirements

Yannick Le Clech (692 Diaoulic) dismasted. A support boat is 12 nm away and heading to him. Under jury rig, he is en route to Cascais at a speed of 2.2 knots.

François Lamy (566 Guadeloupe Espace Océan) is heading to Cascais with a damaged rudder to try to fix it.

Carlos Lizancos (431 Reyno de Navarra) is heading for Cascais with a technical problem.

Maxime Salle (348 Bongo) has restarted from Baiona after solving his steering problem. Pilar Pasanau (519 Peter Punk) and Richard Hewson (816 RG650.org) are also due to leave the Spanish port following technical stops.

Yann Le Pautremat (483 Prep Nautic Sea Echo 1% for the Planet) and Sébastien Picault (198 Kickers) have confirmed their retirement.


11-15-2013, 11:01 AM


Tracker (http://www.minitransat.fr/cartographie?lang=en)


While Gwénolé Gahinet is en route to Portugal aboard a fishing boat having been picked up overnight night, other skippers continue to move towards Cascais, at the entrance to Lisbon.

Carlos Lizancos (431 Reyno de Navarra), the victim of an autopilot problem, is only a few miles from the Lusitanian port, where François Lamy ( 566 Guadeloupe Espace Océan) also decided to seek refuge to fix his steering problems. The Guadeloupe sailor confirmed that all was well on board and refused an escort boat escort. Also taking the same route is Diane Reid (655, One Girl 's Ocean Challenge) who has a broken pole, and Pip Hare (743, The Potting Shed) and is also headed for Cascais to repair a broken spreader. Yann Le Clech (692, Diaoulic) is now less than sixty miles always under jury rig.

On the Baiona coast in Spain, Richard Hewson (816 RG65.org) has meanwhile left again following his keel inspection. After a heavy landing after being airborn on the first day of racing, the Tazmanian feared for the structure of the appendage and preferred to divert to check things more closely. The result seems conclusive because RF650.org has already resumed his journey. Clement Bouyssou (514, No War) and François Guiffant (159 Scidiam) are meanwhile still undertaking technical stops in the Galician port. Its the same struggle for Joel Miro Garcia (835 Lady Argo) who is in Camariñas after breaking his two rudders.


Gilles Avril sprung a major leak aboard his Mini No. 562 (Evolution Marine) after hitting a tree trunk off Portugal. The skipper from the Morbihan is safe and was recovered by the escort boat Nacira 40.


Lousy Google translation....

Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) had at heart to show that its leading position in the cancellation step Douarnenez - Sada had nothing usurped. Under conditions that are not particularly favorable to the hull of the prototype, the Italian navigator is the competition at bay. Aymeric Belloir series (All Sing World against Cancer), highly motivated initially will contain the onslaught of a trio of furious.

As expected, the Portuguese trade winds continue to push his lights. The wind consistently exceeds thirty knots as one moves away from the coast and the sea of ​​cross wind with a residual swell northwest is conducive to note-pin bowling. Several competitors have had bitter experience and for some, the punishment results in an abandonment, or that the vessel had suffered too much damage, or simply because, when you do not want to rub shoulders with evidence to the contrary is that it is time to stop spending. The Mini Transat with a lot of waiting days helped to blunt cravings adventure flower rifle some. The test does not spare anyone from prolonged waiting, crossing the Gulf of Biscay brutal, a pit stop in Spain and for a big majority of the fleet, a difficult conveying along the Asturian coast. Finally, it is a system of northeast particularly muscular accompanying the fleet along the Portuguese coast. One thing is certain: the winner of the 2013 edition, not content to be a good sailor, a sailor will inevitably be made.

The case and class

The Portuguese trade winds has already left the carpet a number of competitors who include two podium contenders in series boats as proto. Ian Lipinski (No Future without Digital) has almost sanci planting in a wave. Bad luck is when Ian, out of a nap was about to go out, he was caught by a wave that filled the interior of the Pogo in no time. At the same time, the boat turned keel in the air a long time before recovering dismasted. Ian Lipinski was collected by a cargo ship that was en route to Sfax in Tunisia. In late night, it's Gwénolé Gahinet (Watever / Logways) requesting assistance for the race, one of his levels of keel broken. The browser, which could at any time lose its keel was finally able to board a Portuguese fishing boat. Other solitary threw in the towel: Joel Garcia Miro (Argo 650) will not leave Camarillas where he had taken refuge. Yann Le Pautremat and Sébastien Picault confirmed their abandonment, as well as Bert Bossyns (Netwerk) refuge in the port of Peniche. Finally, Gilles April (Evolution Marine) hit a log in a surf. The bow of the boat did not survive the shock. It is safe on one of the support boats.

Meanwhile, Giancarlo Pedote Benedict Marie (benoitmarie.com), Nicolas Boidevezi (Nature Addicts) and Bertrand Delesne (TeamWork) lead the dance masterfully, making any talk of wide experience. Other competitors have chosen to delay the image of Stan Maslard (Sefico Group) has clearly opted to stay closer to the Portuguese coast to the highest hours to enjoy a calm sea a less strong wind. This is the same that strategy Renaud Mary (www.runo.fr). Paid a priori choice, since Renaud is credited with the highest growth over 24 hours from noon to noon. It remains with Aymeric Belloir Justine Mettraux (TeamWork) and Simon Koster (4 GB it) the fight is beautiful.

Express stop

For still others, the race was put in brackets the time of a technical stop. In Porto Clement Bouyssou (No war) and François Guiffant (Scidiam) have to leave tomorrow morning. This is also the case of Pip Hare (The Potting Shade), François Lamy (Guadeloupe Ocean Area) and Diane Reid (One's Girl Ocean Challenge) that percentage distribution of all of Lisbon. Others, like Carlos Lizancos (Reyno de Navarra) or Pilar Pasanau (Peter Punk) have not indicated their intention to the race. Sleep on it ...



11-16-2013, 11:31 AM

As of 16.00 (GMT +1) Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) was only 130 miles from Lanzarote, the first mark of the course after the start from Sada. If the wind holds up, he should pass the waypoint overnight from Saturday to Sunday at around three the morning. Achieving this would mean that the front of the fleet will have taken less than 4 days to cover the 950 miles between the start line and the first gate.

It would seem that the Minis have all forgotten where the brake pedal is. It's time to accurately evaluate performances as the first of the fleet pass through the gate located just off Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, and it looks likely that they will have been achieving around 250 miles a day since the start, at an average speed of a little more than ten knots. At this rate, the material damage is always a consequence and many sailors have had the misfortunate to sustain assorted damage: some are relatively inconsequential, others are more serious and have led many of the soloists to make pitstops for repairs. For most, the stops have been short and the vast majority are straigh back into the race after repairs.

Tracker (http://www.minitransat.fr/cartographie?lang=en)

The Swiss threat
Who said that Switzerland was not a country of great sailors? In the Mini Transat, Aymeric Belloir (All Sing World against Cancer) does not need any convincing. Because he has two worthy Swiss representatives snapping hard at his heels, the Swiss/German Simon Koster (Go 4 it) and Justine Mettraux (TeamWork) who is Swiss/French . Between the two, there is no regional rivalry when it comes to stealing a march on the rest of the sailing world. Behind them, Renaud Mary (www.runo.fr) is collecting dividends from its option to stay inshore, while Jean- Baptiste Lemaire (Œuvre du Marin Breton) has opted, meanwhile, for the most western route of the entire fleet. As usual, the truth can sometimes take strongly diverging paths. Others have no such qualms, and Florian Mausy (Foksaglisse), has stayed true to his principles and opted for an almost direct route from Cape Finisterre to Lanzarote. Keeping the boat steady as she goes under reduced sail, he is currently looking at 14th place in the series boats ranking.


The Italian Force
"Slow and steady wins the race." In the prototypes, Giancarlo Pedote has firmly scratched this famous maxim out of his dictionary. With a cushion of some 40 miles on a group of three consisting of Bertrand Delesne (TeamWork Proto), Benoît Marie (benoitmarie.com) and Nicolas Boidevezi (Nature Addicts), he has clearly demonstrated that he knows how to get the very best out of his Raison design. He is still in the first quarter of the race, but the Italian navigator has yet to put a foot wrong. After the disappointment of the first stage cancellation, cinquantaine has been able to get back into the game. It is also the mark of the best to know how to bounce back.

Limiting the damage
But you also need to have a little bit of luck with you. Gilles Avril (Evolution Marine) took the option to purchase the hull of a prototype and complete the construction with his own hands. He could be rightly proud of the result. Unfortunately, a drifting log was right in the path of his dreams when the boats bow came out of a surf and hit the log square on with force. Gilles decided not trigger the emergency beacon : instead he set of a request for assistance from his Argos, and then waited patiently for the escort boat while his boat was filling with water. As the support boat arrived Gilles conducted his transfer with composure and professionalism and his transfer to the Class40 of Benoît Parnaudeau went off without a hitch. The skipper had first inflated his life raft, then climed aboard it and allowed it to drift back so the Class40 could come alongside and secure it. Gilles was then able to safely board the support boat. It was a piece of very fine and well controlled seamanship, which highlights the important role of safety training where this type of rescue procedure is dissected and taught by the rescue professionals and marine security services.
Aboard Paris Texas, Ludovic Méchin appears to be sailing towards the coast of Morocco at low speed. The skipper has keyed the presence on board button to incidate that all is well on board and he does not require assistance. This is also the situation of Nolwen Carlan (Reality) who is also making slow speed progress. As in other cases, the browsers they try to resolve their equpment issues under their own steam. The Mini Transat is an exceptional sea school.

Cegelec / Eurovia Ranking (prototypes) at 16.00 (French time)
1. Giancarlo Pedote (747 – Prysmian) with 2872.6 nm to finish
2. Bertrand Delesne (754 – TeamWork Proto) + 47.2 nm
3. Benoit Marie (667 – benoitmarie.com) + 52.5 nm
4. Nicolas Boidevezi (719 – Nature Addicts) + 58.2 nm
5. Julien Pulvé (802 – MEXT-ICA) + 75.1 nm

Yslab Ranking (Series boats) à 16.00 (French time)
1. Aymeric Belloir (810 – Tout le Monde chante contre le Cancer) with 2947.9 nm to finish
2. Simon Koster (819 – Go 4 it) + 9.9 nm
3. Justine Mettraux (824 - TeamWork) + 22.2 nm
4. Renaud Mary (535 – www.runo.fr) + 35.5 nm
5. Jean-Baptiste Lemaire (607 – Œuvre du Marin Breton) +49.8 nm

The full ranking lists are available HERE! (http://www.minitransat.fr/classement?lang=en)

Latest update from Richard Hewsonracing is posted via his website explaining his second pit stop. He wiped out again on another breaker and this time broke the rudder.

OK - here`s the low down ..............
11/15/20132 Comments

I cant even put a picture onto this blog........
Two nights ago Richard launched off of a wake of a fishing boat and made a seamanship decision to check the boat after some airtime in the RG 650..........
We know he restarted and we were stoked to see him cruising with a great VMG and with 10+ knots of boat speed.
This is where the story gets interesting.......
I - was asleep but I wasn't comfortable so I got up and anxiety got the best of me. I turned my computer on at 0555 in the morning. The French tracker was as we know asleep so I checked the AIS....... RG 650 solo sailor (FYI) and there he was heading : 175º speed: 9 kts
I was happy.......
Next update said 300 seconds which took me a few drowsy moments to work out that meant 5 minutes........ so I watched the seconds.
Next thing I see is 3-2-1 ..........
The update screened itself and the bow was pointing 290º and the speed was 1kts
WTF - I said quietly as my family was sleeping.......
By now I was in a frenzy of anxiety and was watching for the next update........ it came and it said the same.......
A few deep breathes later and a quick `why the f__k´
I knew deep down that I had just witnessed a virtual wipeout ...........
As I sit here writing this I still don't know why I woke and literally watched it happen on my computer.........
Anyway, obviously we cant contact Richard so we had to wait.........I knew this morning at 0600 that he was heading to a port but that doesn't help the anxiety..........
The day was difficult - I wouldn't have liked to be around me at all........
Anyway, saw that Richard was sailing ok and was indeed heading for a port.......
THEN...... I receive a +351 phone call and I know this is Portugal , it is 2130 at night........
It was a message from Richard via and English speaking Portugese touching base ........
Mate .............
How are you?
He said all ok.........
Straight into it - no time..........
brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr phone dead.
I sat there for a second and thought about what had just happened and tried to relate to his situation..........
This story is not about winning a yacht race , this is about the story itself.............
I have nothing more to say other than to all the people following this unfold hang in there because there is more to come..........
The outcome of all of this is that Richard found calm waters to replace the rudder which we carried a spare for and he is off again..........
Still no `F´ word..........
Go the RG !!!!!!!!!!!!
Go the Hewson !!!!!!!!!!! Shuck yeeeeaaaaahhhhhhhhh.


Single Hander
11-18-2013, 08:14 AM

Vincent Busnel runs aground.


11-19-2013, 01:17 PM

Shark Attack! and other news from onboard Caterham Challenge....

Pushing on here but able to use the pilot for the first time in three days so getting some rest as no longer always one of us needed to hand steer 24hrs a day

Around 3am yesterday morning Brian noticed something caught around the starboard rudder. He called me on deck and we could see what looked like a piece of rubber or rope trailing 1m behind the rudder. I tried to free it but could not get hold of it so we decided to slow down the boat, snuff and drop the spinnaker and turn the boat into wind to stop it. Having done all this I went back to grab the obstruction to look straight into the head of a shark caught around the rudder. It was about 1.5m long and we had hit it in the middle and it had curved around the rudder. What we could see coming out of the water was its tail. We backed down and it fell off and we went on our way, don't think the shark was so lucky!


...and tonight's update from Mike Gascoyne talking about the past 2 days, hand steering, sharks and chicken tikka curry.

Sorry all its been a while since the last update, but it has been pretty full on here since we got back up and running. We have been running the full medium spinaker for the last 48 hrs and this is very critical on performance and needs hand steering to get the best from it. the pilot is ok but around 2kts slower than hand steering, hence we have been just steering and sleeping and both tired. Brian did more of the night steering as downwind at 18kt surfing with a big kite up is tricky and a steep learning curve for me. The fact we are also in a drag race with the other top 10 boats makes it all the more difficult.

The fact we've come out only 200 miles from the leader and been able to hold onto the gains of the first day is great.

Today we changed to the A3 and can use the pilot so have got a lot more rest today and also the warm temps mean life onboard is a bit drier.

Last night got a 4ft shark caught on the rudder, thought it was a bit of rubber and got a shock when i leant down to grab it to see a big sharks head.

Mainsail all ok, it has peeled in a non critical area and we will quickly drop and repair when we reach the doldrums but no worries. Also we have just checked the tack line that failed for chafe as we have been running it all day and it looks fine so another worry under control

Will probably keep A3 down to Doldrums as we need to keep high for our chosen entry point, weather out of the doldrums looks quite kind and not to upwind which will keep the strain off the mainsail

Just had a chicken tikka curry with eggs, Brian on watch and I'm heading for a snooze

take care

mike — with Brian Thompson Sailing.

IOR Geezer
11-19-2013, 02:48 PM
Shark on your foils is slow

11-20-2013, 10:55 AM

With 24 boats of the original 84 boats in the 2013 Mini Transat no longer participating
in the event and the race about 1/3rd over, you have to ask is this the largest about off attrition in Mini Transat history? With the month long delay at the start of the event, no doubt many of the sailors had no choice but to pull out due to time constraints. 11 boats just never made it to the restart in Sada after the challenging conditions in the Bay of Biscay. Since the November 13th restart, an additional 13 have retired, leaving just 50 boats in the two fleets on the course, and with many still near the Canaries, the option to bail before the 2,764 nm leg from Lanzarote to Pointe a Pitre must be made soon. Just an hour or so ago, Jean-Marie Oger on "Acebi" announce her retirement with nav system issues. Earlier, "Groupe Sefico's" Stanislas Maslard threw in the towel after deciding he no longer has the motivation to continue. Finding no replacement for his mast, he broke earlier, and now expected to retire, David Genst of "Bingo" is expected to call it quits shortly as well.


Another dozen boats are in the pit stop in Lanzarote and will have to decide what their fate and motivations lead them to choose:

We know that when the sea conditions become harsh, the speed differences between prototypes and series boats tend to narrow. The proof can be seen in the 2013 edition of the Mini Transat where, at the time of leaving the Canaries, 5 of the series boats are embedded in the top 10 overall ranking.

The faced particularly difficult wind and sea conditions between Sada and Lanzarote, which helped level the playing field. Aymeric Belloir (Tout le Monde Chante contre le Cancer) and currently lying in fourth place behind Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian), Benoît Marie (benoitmarie.com) and Remi Fermin (Boreal).

The pit stops continue, often for power problems. This is the case for Julien Marcelet (Nord Pas de Calais), who has autopilot failure. Its a big disappointment for the young skipper as he had managed to get through the bad weather off the coast of Portugal smoothly. Julien felt good and his boat, apart from his concern for the autopilot, was in perfect condition. Robert Rosen Jacobson (Postillion Hotels) also had to stop in westernTenerife. Again its a problem for the Dutch navigator who just burst out laughing when he was asked him about his morale. There can be no doubt that the doyen of the race is a fighter.

Richard Hewson ( RG650.com ) fixes a problem of air
- Hugues Cholet ( For Bel Espoir ) had planned to stop at the outset
- Jerome Lecuna ( I Feel Good ) imminent departure
- Marc Dubos ( CEPAT ), starting tomorrow
- Nolwen de Carlan ( Reality ), starting tomorrow
- Eric Jézégou ( Déphémérides - AM2I ), waiting for a piece of chain plate
- Charles Boulanger ( Foksamouille ) has not clarified its intentions
- Axel Tréhin ( Ty Startigenn ) imminent departure
- Federico Cuciuc ( Your Sail ) has not clarified its intentions
- Thomas Guilbaud ( Technip Planète Urgence ), has not clarified its intentions
- Robin Marsh ( Marcel for Ever ) imminent departure


Tracker (http://www.minitransat.fr/cartographie?lang=en)



Official Report:

Magic weather reports. One only had to observe the trajectory of the leaders at the noon update, or rather just after the official radio report when they were proided with the forecast, to see that many competitors had chosen their camp, the road to the south. Nevertheless, there are still some resistant freethinkers among the leaders.

They are still twelve boats working to finish repairs in Lanzarote before returning to sea*. For two of them, the adventure of the Mini Transat stops there. Stan Maslard (Sefico Group) and David Genest (Bingo) will not leave. For Stan, the accumulation of minor technical glitches have got the better of his desire to return to sea, especially as he came with the goal of a podium finish. David's broken mast means there is no hope that he can leave on time. As his race must end there, he has offered Jerome Lecuna, who has major power problems, his generator. In the world of the Ministes solidarity continues to take precedence over the competition ...

For other competitors, it's a case of rehabilitating their steeds who have suffered during the voyage. For many, these are problems of power, autopilots and often damaged rudders. This area seems to be a weak point as soon as conditions become windy.

The first strategic choice

In the prototypes, the first three seem to have made the same choice: to quickly make their way south. Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) and Benoit Marie (benoitmarie.com) were just waiting for the reading of the daily weather report, issued by SSB, to make their routing decision. They were followed a few hours later by Rémi Fermin (Boreal). It is less clear for Bruno Garcia ( Sampaquita ) who could procrastinate a little longer before making his decision.

However, Bertrand Delesne (TeamWork Proto) has apparently decided to bet everything on a route close to the great circle,a choice which seems to have given Jean- Baptiste Lemaire (L’œuvre du Marin Breton) a solid fourth in the series boats . Their route, if it is confirmed, is audacious, but it could pay off over time. Indeed, the arrival of a cold front at 40° W should cause a break in the trades and generate light winds for several hours. If those to the south are able to get far enough away to escape the influence of this front, they will keep the established trade winds established and far outweigh those on the direct route. However, if everyone finds themself in the same boat, those who have chosen to sail the shortest route will make the gains. Ahead of Jean- Baptiste, the leading three have clearly chosen the southern route. So this may be the best card to play for the navigator who dares to take radical options. He already proved, in last year's Les Sables - Azores, that counting on a very northly option for the run to Les Sables d' Olonne can bring success. Regardless, the battle for second place between Simon Koster (Go 4 it) and Justine Mettraux (TeamWork) promises to be fierce.

No soul searching for the pack

Behind the leaders, for the main body of the pack, it's about escaping the lights airs that extend around the Canaries. The anticyclone is growing and the primary objective is to avoid getting caught in its nets. Eric Cochet (Abers & Co) , Tanguy Le Turquais (Terréal Rêve d‘enfance), like Damien Audrain (Gerinter) or Jerome d' Aboville (Bel) have significantly adjusted their route. Alberto Bona (onelinesim.it) will not follow immediately, as he is the victim of a technical problem. The Italian skipper has activated his " on board " button several times, which means it is not asking for assistance and is trying to solve the problem himself. At the 16.00 update, only two competitors, Louis Segre (Roll my Chicken) and Julien Pulvé (MEXT - ICA ) showed speeds of greater than ten knots on a clearly southerly route. It is still very early in the great crossing for anyone to play their cards openly.

Single Hander
11-20-2013, 09:00 PM
A month delay is a major push back. With winter fast approaching, you have to figure a lot of doubt
going though the heads of some of these skippers. Can't say I blame them.

11-20-2013, 09:05 PM

The Canadian sailor informed the race management, through a cargo ship which was passing nearby, that her mast has broken. She has not requested assistance and just wants to be supported upon her arrival in Lanzarote. She triggered the button on board to indicate that all is well.

Single Hander
11-20-2013, 09:06 PM
Damn. 48 or 49 more boats still racing?

11-20-2013, 09:10 PM
Rigs blowing up all over the Atlantic tonite!

11-23-2013, 10:59 AM

"It gives me great sadness to report that the Mini Transat is now over for me and 816.

So many hours of hard work over the past two years of my life up in dust, but too many things were not right and I guess sometimes you need to know when to stop.

This decision has been pretty well made by the Committee, as a competitor is only allowed 72 hours of stopovers in port, and sadly due to keel and rudder issues, plus the rigging issues over the past two days added up to more than that. Last night I called the race officer and bought more time, and when I left the dock last night at 2230 I got outside and did a full check of the boat. Once I started to tune the rig I realised that without more hours of modification, including taking the rig back and making some major adjustments out I would not be able to get it to a standard that I consider appropriate to race or sail across the Atlantic.

The keel is the added issue, and whilst I am happy with the repair and the structural strength of the keel box, I have not had the opportunity to x-ray the keel and look for other damage that may have happened during the incident.

Looking at the weather systems it was also against me, and the big high that continues to explode mid atlantic may have meant I was drifting around for days. What comes after the HP we don’t know, and there was always the possibility of more wind, so without the rig in the correct configuration I could not be 100% that all would be ok.

A lifetime of sailing, the past 16 years at sea working professionally, and over 80,000 of ocean racing have taught me that the sea should not be taken lightly, as you never know what could be around the corner. I know how rough things can get out here, and with limited communications and tools onboard. When heading to sea one should always be wary of the strength and power of our amazing ocean. In the tropics I have seen wind go from 2kts to 45kts in a single squall and one should not proceed to sea unless they are completely satisfied with the boat, keel and rig.

Additionally, and almost ironically the wind vane was not working properly so I had not true wind speed which means the pilot would not have worked correctly. Perhaps this could have been adjusted, but it is just another factor adding up to the decision process.

As Juggy says, a great learning experience. Sometimes you need to know when to turn the wick up, and sometimes you need to know when to turn it down. For the duration of this campaign I have been working with the wick up, the last couple of months I cranked it a bit higher, and over the past week the wick has been turned on as hard as physically possible, and burning like a blow torch. They say the Mini is a life changing experience. Now it is time to turn the wick down, regather, think about what I have learnt. This is the only times I have aborted a project, job or mission in my life, but the leaning experience gained for the RG650 project and me personally has been invaluable.

All in all, I am proud of myself for what I have achieved, and proud of myself for making the tough decision last night to turn around an sail back into port when I realised that things were not 100%. In itself this decisions means that I have learnt something, and developed some type of inner strength and wisdom over the years.

Thankyou all for your support throughout this campaign. I am very thankful to everybody for all the emails and Facebook posts I have received over the past few weeks. You have all been fantastic."


************************************************** ***


The skipper of Solidarity has advised the Race Director of his retirement from the Mini Transat. Louis felt that, given the delay he had incurred and his professional obligations, it was not reasonable to return to sea

************************************************** ********



Chart (http://www.minitransat.fr/cartographie?lang=en)

12-01-2013, 04:33 PM

The skipper of Benoitamarie.com crossed the finish line in Pointe-à-Pitre line at 17h 46m 05s local time (21h 46mn 05s GMT). His total racing time was 18d 13h 01m 05s. His average speed over the course was 8.25 knots.

This is Benoît Marie's first victory in a major single handed ocean race. In two years, his development has been linear. Considered a definite outsider at the start from Douarnenez, Benoît Marie has shown that he deserves his place in the major leagues.


Benoît Marie sets foot on the dock. He is still amazed by his performance, deeply moved to see his family ... He only learned of his victory in the Bay of Pointe à Pitre, when a spectator boat told him that no one else had crossed the line. He goes to Denis Hugues, the Race Director and laughingly said to him: "There were not many bet on me at first, but I knew I had my chances, I really thought ..." Some excerpts from his first words:

The race

"This year has been really tough. The wait could be highly demotivating and the more we waited, the harder it was to get into race mode. I really took care never to let it unsettle me. From Sada, we knew we would face strong winds, it was on us almost immediately."

The descent along the coast of Portugal

"It was really an equipment breaking sea. The first night, I really reduced sail and applied myself to stay at an average speed of twelve knots, it was more than enough. I elected to sail in a seamanlike manner to avoid having to stop in Lanzarote for repairs. That didn't not stop me having my worries about equipment: my mainsail blew out several times at the third reef. I had to sew it. I also had rudder damage. I was forced to fix it with retaining lashings regularly ... "

His match with Giancarlo Pedote

"For three days I had no positions, my BLU was inaudible. I knew I was well placed, my boat was fast these in these conditions. I especially tried to sail the cleanest trajectory, not to ease off ... I did not know my position, but he should have nothing to regret. "

The overall picture of this Mini Transat

"Of the 3,700 miles of the Mini Transat, I think I had was close hauled for just 3 miles out of the Bay of Sada. Everything else I did downwind ... and that is truly magical. "