Home Adventure “Small hiccup” en route to 250-mile Days

“Small hiccup” en route to 250-mile Days

by Kurt Hoehne

ministransatmapAmazingly, more than 70 competitors are still able to make the start of the Mini Transat which had been scheduled for 1700 today French time. That had caused much distress, apparently declared in some vivid French, about the danger it would put the sailors in as they tried to extricate themselves from the shore through the darkness. Well, once again the race committee adjusted course and the start is now scheduled for 0900 local time tomorrow. Follow the race here.

The course is now nonstop from Sada, Spain to Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe via the Canary Islands as a turning mark.

Pacific Northwest sailor Craig Horsfield will be on the start line, after having his boat holed at the first attempt at a start, and flying back home to Seattle. He’s ready to go and sent out this message in an email to his family and friends:

“Going to be very fast down to the canaries 20 35+ NE wind all the way. I will be conservative and for sure will not push hard until past Portugal. The risk of breaking is too high in these conditions. Routing has me doing 250 nm in the first 24hours at only 85% of targets so that is very quick.

See you all in 25 days I hope.” 

And for those of you interested in the race committee’s press release, here it is:

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 …

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