Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal, West Coast
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Interesting comments about the postponement of the race:
In the Mini Transat, 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.
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.
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.
... 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.
by Solene Rennuit
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Last edited by PCP; 10-14-2013 at 05:45 PM.