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Thread: 2017 Mini Transat

  1. #11
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Leg 1 Complete!




    With the arrival of Julien Mizrachi (UNAPEI), 78 racers have now made it safely into the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Of the 81 competitors at the start, just three solo sailors are no longer officially racing: Matteo Rusticali due to a dismasting, Luca Sabiu who triggered his distress beacon offshore of La Coruña and Frédéric Guérin, who following his dismasting was not able to effect repairs within the subsequent 72 hours allowed, but nevertheless intends to make for the Canaries.

    Rarely has the first leg of the Mini-Transat seen so few retirements. There are two main reasons for this exceptional success rate: on the one hand, the standard of the competitors' preparation is improving with every edition, but above all the weather conditions encountered en route proved to be particularly mild. With the exception of a slightly boisterous forty-eight hours as the fleet rounded Cape Finisterre, the solo sailors were more under pressure from light airs rather than big breeze.
    Indeed, it is this factor that has made this leg one of the longest in the history of the event, even though in the seventies and eighties the boats' performances were a far cry from those posted by today's best prototypes and production boats.

    Prototypes: wire to wire victory
    On a sporting level, Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) came up against some stiff competition for the first time in two years. First off it was Erwan Le Mené (Rousseau Clôtures) who put the event favourite under pressure until he broke his bowsprit on exiting the TSS off Cape Finisterre. At that point, an unexpected outsider stepped into the breach to continue the offensive, one Arthur Léopold-Léger (Antal XPO). Despite only a shortened preparation time and a particularly pressing professional commitment, Arthur was able to make the most of the weather conditions to chase down the head of the race, to the extent that he was even in contention of winning this first leg at one point. However, like a certain team from New Zealand in the rugby, ultimately it was Ian Lipinski who secured victory... by 113 seconds. In the words of Victor Hugo "the bullet passed so near that his hat fell off..."
    In the battle to complete the podium, Romain Bolzinger (Spicee.com) is still very much in contention less than an hour astray of Erwan Le Mené. He's followed by a cohort of prototypes, from fifth placed Aurélien Poisson (TeamWork) to Charlotte Méry (Optigestion – Femmes de Bretagne) in tenth, via Simon Koster (Eight Cube – Sersa), Jorg Riechers (Lilienthal), Keni Piperol (Région Guadeloupe) and Patrick Jaffré (Projet Pioneer). Just three hours separate all these pretenders for the podium, which bodes well for an excellent battle in the second leg.

    Production boats: the leaders' waltz

    With 7 different leaders and 13 changes at the top of the leader board, the numbers are testament to the fierce battle that raged at the head of the fleet of production boats. The maximum separation between the leader and the closest pursuer dates back to 5 October, when Clarisse Crémer (TBS) boasted a 32-mile lead over the rest of the fleet. Two days later, she lamented a 35-mile deficit in relation to Rémi Aubrun (Alternative Sailing – Constructions du Belon), who finished second in the leg. Ultimately, Valentin Gautier (Shaman - Banque du Léman) pocketed the win thanks to a very striking option in the last days of the race. Valentin Gautier has a very slight edge over the rest of the podium, which amounts to a little over two hours. Seven hours is all that separates the second and twenty-first placed skipper, David Alonso (Blue Oscar), a mere drop in the ocean when it comes to crossing the Atlantic. Particularly of note are some great performances from Ambrogio Beccaria (Alla Grande Ambecco) and Frédéric Moreau (Petit Auguste et Cie), who secured sixth and seventh place aboard their Pogo 2s. It just goes to show that an older generation production boat sailed well can still put up a good fight against the latest creations from Pogo 3 and Ofcet.

    In the drink, work, sleep

    Tradition normally dictates that each new arrival gets a dunking at the finish of the Mini-Transat pretty much as soon as he or she ties up to the pontoon. The 2017 promotion has placed the bar very high since the forced dunking has already been rehearsed in Las Palmas, which promises great things for the finish in Le Marin in mid-November. As they await the start of the second leg on 1 November, the little community of Mini sailors is already organising itself. Some have returned to the bosom of their families whilst others have opted to remain on site, renting out a house in the less built up areas of Gran Canaria, often close to the surf spots and other boardsports.... Either you're a Mini sailor or you're not. Some have joined Marta Guemes, a native of the neighbouring island of Lanzarote, whilst those who had some little jobs to do have remained on site to get their boat shipshape again. Everyone will come back together from 25 October for the leg two safety checks. On 28 October, it will be time for the prologue and the prize-giving for the leg from La Rochelle – Gran Canaria. At that point, there will be just three days to go before the skippers take the plunge. This time, there will be no escape. Once they've set off across the Atlantic, the solo sailors will have no more opportunities to make landfall before the West Indies. But this too is part of the thrill they are seeking from the legendary Mini-Transat.


    &1


    · Sunday 1 October: Start of the Mini-Transat La Boulangère in La Rochelle, France

    · 21st edition

    · 4,050 miles to cover between La Rochelle – Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and Le Marin (Martinique)

    · 81 skippers at the start

    · 10 women

    · 11 nationalities

    · 20 years: age of the youngest skipper in the race: Erwan Le Draoulec

    · 62 years: age of the oldest skipper in the race: Fred Guérin

    · 25 prototypes

    · 56 production boats

    · 66 rookies

    · 15 'repeat offenders'
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  2. #12
    Chick Magnet Cassidy's Avatar
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    Gotta love the tenacity!

  3. #13
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Second Leg Of Mini Transat La Boulangère Underway



    The dream life of the Ministry

    Of course, there was still emotion at the start of this second stage. We do not cross the Atlantic for the first time without a little apprehension and even the regulars knew that they would leave for two weeks at minimum due to the weather conditions announced and the change of route by the Cape Verde Islands.







    It was Marc Miro Rubio (Alfin), who was the first to leave the pontoon in Las Palmas aboard the only Pogo 1 of the fleet, whilst David Allamelou (Boréal) led the way in the prototype category, both followed by a procession of solo sailors filing out of the Latina Vela marina. For the first-timers whose backs were against the wall, they tried hard to disguise their apprehension, whilst the more experienced sailors were inevitably a little more detached. The biggest cheer unquestionably went to Marta Guemes (Artelia), the local of the leg. In a concession to modern times a number of competitors fired up their little Go-Pro cameras to ensure they remember every detail of their Mini experience, starting with the images of the friends they are leaving behind them.







    Gentle start

    Out on the water, the wind shifted round to the ENE shortly before the start. As such, on crossing the line, most of the solo sailors promptly hoisted their code zeros, whilst the more daring amongst them went straight for the large spinnaker. Slightly to leeward of the start line, Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) followed by Jonathan Chodkiewiez (Tasty Granny), Gauthier Enguehard (Facet Ingenierie) and Quentin Vlamynck (Arkema 3), quickly moved up to the front of the fleet. In the group to windward, Arthur Léopold-Léger (Antal-XPO) got the better of the fleet of production boats led by Yannick Le Clech (Dragobert) and shadowed by Ambrogio Beccaria (Alla Grande Ambecco), Clarisse Crémer (TBS) and Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry). To leeward, Pierre Revol (Maribambelle) extricated himself from the masses to position himself at the front of the fleet. Little by little, the spinnakers filled as the wind lifted. The long descent southwards has begun.

    After an hour of racing, we found almost all the favorites at the front of the fleet with the exception of Valentin Gautier ( Shaman - Bank of Léman ) in series and Romain Bolzinger ( Spicee.com ) in prototype.

    While the fleet was stretching along the eastern coast of Gran Canaria, at the tail of the fleet we took this beginning of stage with a certain philosophy. Julien Bozzolo ( Mariolle ), Marc Miro Rubio, Elodie Pédron ( Manu Poki and the Biotechs ) and Boris Pelsy ( Novintiss ) were fighting over the red lantern in a relaxed atmosphere ... There are still so many miles to go






    Initial tactical choices

    Once the island of Gran Canaria is behind them, the fleet will be tasked with making its initial tactical choices. The general trend is likely to involve pushing along on port tack as far as the coast of Africa. However, once they get close to the shores of Mauritania, the racers are split on how to tackle the next section. Certain routing options recommend playing with the effects of the headland by linking together a series of manœuvres under spinnaker, at times under the cover of darkness. This route is somewhat hazardous of course, given the increased risk of encountering the local fishermen, who may prove to be intrusive. A number of competitors admitted that they were keen to head further offshore the minute they hit the steadier winds forecast. Accepting that you are likely to lose a bit of ground in order to reduce the risk at the start of what promises to be a long leg is not necessarily a miscalculation…






    Position report on 1 November at 15:00 UTC

    Prototypes

    1 Andrea Fornaro (Sideral) 2,930.4 miles from the finish

    2 Erwan le Mené (Rousseau Clôtures) 0.5 miles behind the leader

    3 Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) 0.5 miles behind the leader

    4 Quentin Vlamynck (Arkema 3) 0.7 miles behind the leader

    5 Simon Koster (Eight Cube Sersa) 0.8 miles behind the leader

    Production boats

    1 Ambrogio Beccaria (Alla Grande Ambecco) 2,931.5 miles from the finish

    2 Yannick Le Clech (Dragobert) 0.0 miles behind the leader

    3 Clarisse Crémer (TBS) 0.4 miles behind the leader

    4 Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry) 0.5 miles behind the leader

    5 Pierre Revol (Maribambelle) 0.6 miles behind the leader


    http://www.minitransat.fr/en/news/dr...fe-mini-sailor
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  4. #14
    My money is on the French guys!

  5. #15
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Pushing It To The Limit




    You have to be a strange fish to do the Mini-Transat. In addition to the two years of sacrifice thinking about and shelling out cash on a Mini campaign, all those competing in the Mini-Transat La Boulangère are well aware that everything can come to an abrupt halt on these super-powered racing steeds to the detriment of material damage. Indeed, most of them get a little knot in their stomach the moment the wind picks up a notch. And yet…

    There are not a hundred and one ways to do the Mini. Those who are in it to win it accept that they are constantly sailing with the increased threat of breakage looming over them. In order to go faster than your neighbour the minute the wind picks up involves putting your fears to one side, pushing the envelope, brushing aside the fatigue and playing with the limits of the gear aboard. Everyone is trying to do everything in their power to push themselves that one step further and dare to dream. What might be considered impossible at the start of the race, gradually becomes feasible, and the Mini-Transat La Boulangère shouldn’t be an exception to the rule.



    TRACKER


    First selection

    Of course, in an ideal world, the weather conditions will be consistent with this rise in power. However, the very nature of offshore racing is that the sea is the only judge. For this second leg, it’s been a quick transition for the skippers. After a gentle start, the wind has quickly picked up to 25 knots, enabling the Minis to power along southwards. In these conditions, the toughest skippers have immediately stepped up to the plate and are showing what they’re made of. Among these we have the usual suspects of course, like Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) and Erwan Le Mené (Rousseau Clôtures), who are continuing their duel from the first leg. Alongside them, really coming into their own in this second leg, are Jörg Riechers (Lilienthal), Romain Bolzinger (Spicee.com) and Simon Koster (Eight Cube Sersa). A number of others are on the hunt too, like Patrick Jaffré (Projet Pioneer) and Charlotte Méry (Optigestion – Femmes de Bretagne), who are very much in the action.

    In the production boat category, there is so little separating the boats that more often it’s the lateral separation in relation to the direct route that determines the ranking. Less than 10 miles separate the top eight and it would be a tough ask to predict who will be first down the channel between the Cape Verde islands of Santo Antao and Sao Vicente. In this way, after leading the way for a while, Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis – Cerfrance) is now paying for his coastal option. However, in offshore racing, you can sometimes reap big rewards for investing in a certain direction.




    The race must go on

    Following his dismasting last night, Dorel Nacou (Ixblues Vamonos) was quickly able to determine that aside from his mast tube splitting in two, he still has his spreaders, all his sails and his rigging. Like a shot, he decided to officially report to the nearby support boat, Grande Hermine, explaining that there was no question of him retiring. Instead Dorel will make for the port of Boujdour to the south of Morocco. Once there he intends to effect repairs and head back out to sea to finish what he started. One would expect nothing less from this chap who, some twenty-five years earlier, decided to flee his native Romania, crossing Europe in a series of freight cars to seek refuge in Marseille. Fellow skipper, Julien Bozzolo (Mariolle), has broken his bowsprit but he too intends to quickly effect repairs. In offshore racing, stubborn determination can sometimes be a major virtue.

    Position report on 2 November at 18:00 UTC

    ​​​​​​​Prototypes

    1 Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) 2,681.6 miles from the finish

    2 Erwan le Mené (Rousseau Clôtures) 8.5 miles behind the leader

    3 Charlotte Méry (OptiGestion – Femmes de Bretagne) 14.5 miles behind the leader

    4 Romain Bolzinger (Spicee.com) 16.5 miles behind the leader

    5 Patrick Jaffré (Project Pioneer) 19.6 miles behind the leader

    Production boats

    1 Rémi Aubrun (Alternative Sailing – Constructions du Belon) 2,709.4 miles from the finish

    2 Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis-Cerfrance) 0.2 miles behind the leader

    3 Clarisse Crémer (TBS) 4.3 miles behind the leader

    4 Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry) 7.7 miles behind the leader

    5 Benoit Sineau (Cachaca II) 12.0 miles behind the leader
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  6. #16
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Collision With Whale Sidelines Arthur Léopold-Léger



    Really, luck does not smile to the direct adevrsaires of Ian Lipinski at the beginning of the second stage. After Erwan le Mené, it's Arthur Léopold-Léger's turn to announce the break of one of his rudders, following a collision with a cetacean. Arthur goes to Mindelo in Cape Verde where he will decide what to do next.

    All goes well however for Charlotte Méry who, after strongly slowed down, resumed its race at more than 10 knots average.




    TRACKER





    After two days of racing in this second leg of the Mini-Transat la Boulangère, the fleet is already lamenting a number of issues. For some, there's nothing irremediable and they should be able to effect repairs at sea. Other competitors will have to make a pit-stop before they take the giant leap across the Atlantic; all the more so, given that the wind is likely to hold out until they reach the Cape Verde islands.

    In summary, there are three sailors who are lamenting rudder damage this evening: Arthur Léopold-Léger (Antal – XPO) who intends to effect repairs at Mindelo, Timothée Bonavita (Prism) who has a spare rudder aboard and will try to switch old for new at sea and Erwan Le Mené (Rousseau Clôtures) who has reported that he wants to make for Dakar, which is two degrees further south than the Cape Verde gate and equates to a detour of over 200 miles. Thibault Michelin (Eva Luna) has also hit a UFO, but his speed would suggest that he has the situation under control. Other competitors have also amassed their share of material damage: Pilar Pasanau (Sail One Peter Punk) has wrapped her large spinnaker around the stay and is sailing under mainsail alone whilst she awaits milder conditions to sort things out. Charlotte Méry (Optigestion – Femmes de Bretagne) has broken her bowsprit fork in a manœuvre. We can well imagine that other solo sailors have technical issues too but have decided not to talk about it so as to keep their adversaries in the dark. Psychological warfare has its part in racing too.

    Stretching away
    As expected, it's at the front of the race that we find the fastest speeds. The men and women out at the front are benefiting from a slightly steadier breeze to continue pushing their machines hard. Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) is gradually consolidating his position at the head of the fleet. Solely Jorg Riechers (Lilienthal) and Andrea Fornaro (Sideral) are managing to keep up, though their positioning a lot further to the west is not in their favour. Meantime, on the same course as Ian Lipinski, Patrick Jaffré (Projet Pioneer) is positioned nearly forty miles shy of the leader.
    Among the production boats, Rémi Aubrun (Alternative Sailing – Constructions du belon) is still holding off those in his wake. However, he is clearly under threat from Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis – Cerfrance) and Cédric Faron (Marine Nationale), the latter sailing a superb trajectory which has enabled him to move up into the top trio.

    The battle rages at every stage
    Of course, the fact you're not in the top ten doesn't mean that the race is any less intense. There are just fifteen miles between Slobodan Velikic (Sisa 2) in fourteenth and Elodie Pédron (Manu Poki et les Biotechs) in twenty-fourth. Mathieu Lambert (Presta Service Bat), Estelle Greck (Starfish) and Nolwen Cazé (Fée Rêvée) are grouped within a two-mile radius. A mistimed gybe or a missed gust and the competitors can quickly drop ten or so place in the provisional ranking. Whenever this happens, there is but one solution: focus on your route plan and avoid letting yourself be influenced by anything other than how the weather is evolving. Some sailors take drastic measures to ensure they do just that, switching off the SSB the minute the rankings are announced.

    Position report on 3 November at 15:00 UTC

    Prototypes
    1 Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) Andrea Fornaro (Sideral) 2,495.2 miles from the finish
    2 Jorg Riechers (Lilienthal) 11.1 miles behind the leader
    3 Andrea Fornaro (Sideral) 17.4 miles behind the leader
    4 Patrick Jaffré (Projet Pioneer) 37.3 miles behind the leader
    5 Arthur Léopold-Léger (Antal – XPO) 44.6 miles behind the leader

    Production boats
    1 Rémi Aubrun (Alternative Sailing – Constructions du Belon) 2,534.4 miles from the finish
    2 Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis – Cerfrance) 7.5 miles behind the leader
    3 Cédric Faron (Marine Nationale) 15.6 miles behind the leader
    4 Clarisse Crémer (TBS) 16.1 miles behind the leader
    5 Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry) 16.6 miles behind the leader
    Last edited by Photoboy; 11-03-2017 at 10:58 AM.
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  7. #17
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    The funnel settles the accounts

    - The first competitors are between Santo Antao and Sao Vicente

    - The bulk of the fleet is approaching the Cape Verde islands

    - A provisional ranking prior to the Atlantic






    Between the islands of Santo Antao and San Vicente, the competitors have to make their way along a channel spanning seven miles wide. The passage through the gate will give a precise idea of how everyone is ranked as well as drawing up an initial hierarchy prior to making the big leap across the Atlantic from which there is no way back.

    They are there. In fact, at the head of the fleet, Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) and Simon Koster (Eight Cube Sersa) got through it some time ago after a little hook southwards to distance themselves from the wind shadow created by the mountains of Santo Antao, which culminates at nearly 2,000 metres. With the disturbed cone of breeze able to influence play as far as 30 miles out, we can well understand the prudence of the top two, who didn't want to play with fire. Particularly so with three rivals in hot pursuit, Jörg Riechers (Lilienthal), Romain Bolzinger (Spicee.com) and Charlotte Méry (Optigestion – Femmes de Bretagne), who would certainly have snapped up the opportunity to play catch-up. Behind this leading group, Andrea Fornaro (Sideral) is likely to be first of the chasing pack to negotiate the channel, just ahead of Kéni Piperol (Région Guadeloupe), who has made a great comeback after a prudent start. However, they'll have to keep an eye out for Aurélien Poisson (Teamwork) who could really close the gap thanks to an option a long way to the south. It should be roughly the same set-up for Pablo Torres (Bicho II Puerto Sherry) against the group of rivals slightly further to his north made up of Fred Guérin (Les-amis.fun), Jonathan Chodkiewiez (Tasty Granny) and Julien Héreu (Poema Insurance). However, Julien is bound to have other things on his mind today since he celebrated his twenty-fifth birthday on his own albeit with a pot of Nutella, a packet of M&Ms and some spicy sausage... Presents have a sentimental value at sea, the likes of which you find nowhere else.



    TRACKER



    Bottleneck
    In the production boat category, the ranking is fairly consistent for now among the top five led by Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis – Cerfrance). Aboard Océan Dentiste, one of the support boats, the crew has been endeavouring to get some news from the competitors, though it often boils down to a rather laconic "nothing to report". The only solid information has come from Marta Guemes (Artelia), who reported that she'd broken the halyard of her large spinnaker, but had managed to switch over to a spare one. The big catamaran also passed close to Victor Barriquand (Charente Maritime) and the crew was able to note that all was well aboard. The passage through the Cape Verde islands will be an opportunity to draw up a provisional ranking before attacking the Atlantic. From Thomas Dolan (offshoresailing.fr), sixth in the production boat category, and Camille Taque (Foxsea Lady) tenth of the prototypes, a large part of the fleet is likely to negotiate the channel under the cover of darkness. For them, it'll be important to be particularly vigilant to the last minute wind shifts. Fortunately, the full moon should make the exercise a little less harrowing than in the pitch black.

    Race against the clock
    There are two others for whom the passage through the Cape Verde islands is a way off yet. Boujdour, skippered by Dorel Nacou (IxBlue Vamonos), has already had her mast sleeved with the help of some generous people who have spontaneously come to the skipper's assistance. The sailor hopes to head back out to sea as quickly as possible, the moment the repair has dried. In Dakar, there is a group of people rallying together to welcome Erwan Le Mené (Rousseau Clôtures), who is set to make landfall there at first light tomorrow morning.

    Position report on 5 November at 15:00 UTC

    Prototypes
    1 Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) 2,016.3 miles from the finish
    2 Simon Koster (Eight Cube Sersa) 34.2 miles behind the leader
    3 Jorg Riechers (Lilienthal) 56.3 miles behind the leader
    4 Romain Bolzinger (Spicee.com) 65.1 miles behind the leader
    5 Charlotte Méry (Optigestion – Femmes de Bretagne) 69.9 miles behind the leader

    Production boats
    1 Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis – Cerfrance) 2,085.6 miles from the finish
    2 Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry) 14.6 miles behind the leader
    3 Clarisse Crémer (TBS) 23.2 miles behind the leader
    4 Pierre Chedeville (Blue Orange Games – Faire Retails) 39.5 miles behind the leader
    5 Benoît Sineau (Cachaça 2) 46.4 miles behind the leader
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  8. #18
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Attrition Grows In Mini Transat

    Traverse in convoy... or not

    - Nine competitors on a pit-stop at Mindelo

    - Dorel Nacou is back out on the racetrack

    - Erwan Le Mené has signalled his retirement to Race Management




    Pics of 800 Erwan Le Mené-Sailing OCEAN following its damage that occurred a few days ago...


    Virtually in single file, the solo sailors competing in the Mini-Transat La Boulangère are attacking their oceanic crossing on a WNW'ly heading, slightly above the direct course. In these conditions, with the routing that has stood the test of time since leaving Gran Canaria, wisdom recommends favouring the layline. However, there already appear to be some mavericks on the Atlantic chessboard.

    Powered up in the Atlantic, the solo sailors know that speed is likely to make the difference in this first third of the race rather than route options. As such, it's important to organise oneself, assess the most beneficial moments to sleep, eat and entrust the autopilot with the helm, whilst ensuring you take back control at the right time to give the boat some added pep. What counts is not so much the peaks of speed but the daily average. A consistent performance is the name of the game in the eyes of a solo sailor.




    The weight of experience

    In this exercise, those sailors familiar with the Atlantic have a certain advantage. In the prototype category, Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr), Jörg Riechers (Lilienthal) and Simon Koster (Eight Cube Sersa) all have at least two ocean crossings to their credit. For those for whom this is their first time, you have to learn to harness your emotions and find the right rhythm so you're neither too fast nor too slow. Old hands of the Mini-Transat are fond of saying that there's a psychological barrier to overcome, that of the third or fourth day out after you've left the land behind you. Some don't need that to prove their metal. Indeed, Patrick Jaffré (Projet Pioneer) has had to bring his boat to a complete standstill to consolidate his rudders, which were kicking up without warning after becoming delaminated. Incidentally, he was helped in this endeavour with a pot of resin supplied by a fellow Mini sailor, who diverted his course specially. Charlotte Méry (Optigestion – Femmes de Bretagne) must still have a few issues with the inboard end of her spinnaker pole, given the lowly speeds of her Bertrand design. Their plight has boosted Kéni Piperol (Région Guadeloupe) up the ranking and he is now in sixth position.


    In the production boat category, the return of Tom Dolan (offshoresailing.fr) to fourth position has a lot to do with his wealth of experience. Without making a song and dance about it, Tom is regularly a little faster than his immediate rivals. Nothing spectacular, but by dint of a few extra tenths of a knot, the Irish sailor is gradually clawing back the miles, day on day. Of note too is the gamble being attempted by Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis Cerfrance) and Pierre Chedeville (Blue Orange Games – Fair Retails), who have both opted to put in a gybe to reposition themselves further to the south.

    Nine at Mindelo, alone off Morocco

    In Dakar, Erwan Le Mené (Rousseau Clôtures) has officially signalled his retirement to Race Management. The state of his transom meant that a quick and reliable fix was not possible and the sailor from south-west Brittany has decided on the safe option. Meantime, Dorel Nacou (Ix Blue Vamonos) has left the Moroccan coast. The sailor from Marseille is likely to feel rather alone, but he's seen other hardships over the years.
    At Mindelo, life continues. Two solo sailors are ready to set sail again: Julien Héreu (Poema Insurance) and Vedran Kabalin (Eloa Island of Losini). Ambrogio Beccaria (Alla Grande Ambecco), who made landfall there at 07:00 UTC this morning, has repaired his bowsprit and has announced that he'll head back out to sea as soon as his twelve-hour time penalty has elapsed. Even though his overall ranking hopes have been dashed, the young Italian sailor has not finished with his Mini-Transat. He still has two thousand miles to show what he's made of.





    http://www.minitransat.fr/en/follow-race/cartography



    Position report on 7 November at 15:00 UTC

    Prototypes
    1 Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) 1,467.3 miles from the finish
    2 Simon Koster (Eight Cube Sersa) 68.4 miles behind the leader
    3 Jorg Riechers (Lilienthal) 83 miles behind the leader
    4 Romain Bolzinger (Spicce.com) 144 miles behind the leader
    5 Andrea Fornaro (Sideral) 150.4 miles behind the leader

    Production boats
    1 Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry) 1,636.8 miles from the finish
    2 Clarisse Crémer (TBS) 20.9 miles behind the leader
    3 Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis – Cerfrance) 45.1 miles behind the leader
    4 Tom Dolan (offshoresailing.fr) 85.3 miles behind the leader
    5 Benoît Sineau (Cachaça 2) 86.7 miles behind the leader


    http://www.minitransat.fr/en/news/tr...-convoy-or-not
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  9. #19
    Either the gudgeons are super strong on that boat, or the transom construction is really weak on that mini!

  10. #20
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Committing To Martinique



    A touch of the blues in the big blue

    - Virtually the entire fleet in the Atlantic

    - Thibault Michelin and Pavel Roubal still in Mindelo

    - First strategic divergences



    TRACKER


    These are what the regulars call the crucial days, those where you realise that from here on in there's no way back and that there are no options until you reach Martinique. Little by little, as they get further apart, the VHF conversations become few and far between and each solo sailor enters another world and another time.

    Focusing on getting the boat making headway, not letting yourself be overwhelmed with emotion, looking ahead rather than behind and living in the here and now. Such a recipe is key for those setting sail on their first Atlantic crossing, especially in a Mini, where outside contact will become increasingly rare, until the moment where the focus switches to the finish in Martinique. The journey into solitude starts here.




    The weight of experience

    At the head of the fleet, Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) has a rather different mindset. His focus is on the competition element and the sailor from Lorient in Brittany is continuing to drive his prototype hard. Indeed, he'll soon have a lead of over 100 miles in relation to second placed Simon Koster (Eight Cube Sersa). In the production boat category, Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry) is continuing to gently stretch away from Clarisse Crémer (TBS). The youngster of the race has made sure he is equipped to deal with any dips in morale in the form of instructions posted up all over the boat and even a photo of his coach, Tanguy Leglatin, on which he's listed the best remedies for the blues. However, it has to be said that the heady scent of victory is a great vaccine against such malaise.


    all images © Breschi/ Mini-Transat le Boulangerie








    Anyone's game?

    Behind the leaders, some sailors didn't hang around to change course, even if the routing recommended a northerly option. Clearly the rotation of the wind to the east, on the left-hand side of the race course, has inspired certain solo sailors to gamble on the return of the NE'ly trade wind over the coming hours or days. If this is the case, having gybed again, they'll be able to link onto a route that will take them considerably closer to the direct course, whilst their neighbours to the north will find it difficult to drop back down. In the meantime, their provisional rankings are set to tumble because in taking this option, these daring sailors will distance themselves from the great circle route and hence the shortest course between Cape Verde and Martinique. This has already happened to Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis Cerfrance) and Pierre Chedeville (Blue Orange Games – Fair Retail) in the production boat category and Camille Taque (Foxsea Lady) on her prototype. Similarly, it will be wise to keep an eye on how the rankings evolve for Jörg Riechers (Lilienthal), Andrea Fornaro (Sideral), Quentin Vlamynck (Arkema 3), Luc Giros (Cabinet Rivault Nineuil – Enedis) and Sander Van Doorn (Air Charge), as they wait to reap the rewards of their investment.

    Non-stop to Martinique
    The last competitors still in Mindelo are planning to set sail again very soon. For Pavel Roubal (Pogo Dancer) this should be tomorrow morning. Thibault Michelin (Eva Luna) has finished his repairs and should be heading back out to sea shortly. For Romain Bolzinger (Spicee.com), who is posting slow speeds, there is no other option than to continue. Race Management has sent their support boat, Top50, over to investigate what the problem is. In any case, Romain has not activated his distress beacon and is not requesting assistance. Top50 should be on site late tonight.


    Position report on 8 November at 15:00 UTC

    Prototypes
    1 Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) 1,243.0 miles from the finish
    2 Simon Koster (Eight Cube Sersa) 99.7 miles behind the leader
    3 Jorg Riechers (Lilienthal) 108.8 miles behind the leader
    4 Andrea Fornaro (Sideral) 163.9 miles behind the leader
    5 Kéni Piperol (Région Guadeloupe) 205.7 miles behind the leader

    Production boats
    1 Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry) 1,433.0 miles from the finish
    2 Clarisse Crémer (TBS) 30.3 miles behind the leader
    3 Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis – Cerfrance) 38.1 miles behind the leader
    4 Tom Dolan (offshoresailing.fr) 88.2 miles behind the leader
    5 Benoît Sineau (Cachaça 2) 91.4 miles behind the leader
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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