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On Delay: Mini Transat Sailors Cool Their Heels

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  • On Delay: Mini Transat Sailors Cool Their Heels

    The recurring question in Douarnenez is why did you not start on Sunday with good weather prevailing over the bay? The answer lies at Cape Finisterre on the northwestern tip of Spain. This is where the singlehanders might be caugh out in the cold, beating in winds of 35 knots in a big sea. Critical conditions for boats as small as 6.50m sailed singlehanded.

    You have to imagine life on a Mini, facing the sea in bad weather. The boat becomes trapped, barely able to climb the waves at very low speeds because of its short waterline length. The cockpit is regularly swept by the waves and the skipper is tossed about, relying on his safety harness to keep him attached to the boat. Inside, it's a real mess. Everything that can be is piled up on the windward side, everything is soaked and the boat's movement prevent any attempt of to make a hot meal. In short, these are particularly difficult conditions for both the sailors and their machines. The rig is pounded with each wave and some masts can not stand up to the punishment.

    It is understandable that in these conditions the race committee has chosen to postpone the start of the Mini Transat. Moreover, they must now find a big enough window to stop it slamming shut on the fingers of the fleet. However, the current situation offers intervals of only 48 hours, which is not sufficient to allow all competitors to cross the obstacle of the Bay of Biscay and make their descent along the western coast of Galicia. They have to sail about 450 miles before meeting more manageable conditions. To ensure the safe passage of the fleet what is needed is a weather window of about three full days. But the pressure systems currently feeding the near Atlantic are at relatively southern latitudes, making the dominant winds southerly to southwesterly. The famous jump to a nor'wester, following the passing of a depression, does not have time to establish itself before a new system takes its place.

    An Asturian alternative?

    Faced with such a situation, the organising team has opted to wait for favorable weather window to reach Lanzarote.

    One alternative that could be considered is breaking the first leg into two separate sections. The first could take the fleet from Douarnenez to Gijon, a Spanish port that can easily accommodate a fleet of 84 Minis. Through contacts established with the Barquera during the Grand Prix Guyader the Asturian contacts of Douarnenez Courses are mobilised. At Gijon, the soloists can await another weather window to round Cape Finisterre. The advantage of the operation: by splitting the leg it considerably reduces the size of the good weather window necessary to open the road to the south. But today, no decision has yet been taken, as this solution raises a number of logistical problems. Next rendez-vous will be at 18.00 tomorrow . The race has chosen to play the card of transparency with the competitors : this is also in the spirit of the Mini .
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Arrows look pointed the wrong way!


    • #3
      I thought those were hockey sticks.


      • #4
        Color Coding The Mini Transat Start

        Without opening the next forty-eight hours the race was Decided to bring the fleet of Minis in Port Rhu Where She Will receive much more comfortable facilities to wait. Proposed The rally yesterday to Gijon before passing Cape Finisterre is temporarily abandoned option. Finally, a color code to All Those interested in the race is set up to be the Prevent imminent departure. Explanations.

        Back on the weather

        To Understand the Circumstances imagine the line segment rallying the forefront of Britain at Cape Finisterre. This highway is, for the moment, swept across the western margin of the strong to very strong southwest winds. Within the diagonal, the requirements are much more manageable, loved it's sort of a trap for Competitors Have you May Be at Risk of Being caught in the Gulf can not come out. Especially at present is betweens Cape Finisterre and Ortegal winds are Strongest, as gusts of over 50 knots are expected in the coming days .

        The hypothesis Gijon

        This position HAS led the race not to activate the option of a stopover in Gijon. Given current projections, the risk was great to find the fleet stuck in the Asturian Port Unable to navigate in terms satisfactory Gijon 180 miles Separating the tip of Galicia, in the face of strong winds from the west. This hypothesis Could be activated only if the Spanish stopover permitted a maximum wait of two to three days before crossing the tip of Spain. The race Does not Prohibit any case, in the Interests of runners.

        The meanings of the color code

        For now, it is conceivable to stay Hardly Each Day while waiting for a hypothetical departure. The organizer HAS Decided to Implement a color code to anticipate future decisions.

        Code Red: No departure is Planned in the next 36 hours.

        Code Orange: a start as possible, in the next 36 hours.

        Code Green: can start in the next 24 hours.

        The objective is to enable the best possible, to the press and the public Following the Mini Transat. Information Tonight the riders' briefing, the race HAS Announced the introduction of color codes That Will Be visible on the website.


        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


        • #5
          Yah, those Ortegal winds are nasty.