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Location: Portugal, West Coast
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Transat Jaques Vabre - Mini Transat
Tales Santander overtook mare. They have been faster for so many days. The Botin design seems to be a blast!
Riechers is a great sailor, as well as Rogues and both have identically very fast Sam Manuard designed boats. For many time Rogues managed an advantage to Riechers and then Riechers was able to maintain that distance but unable to approach, at least in pure speed. Pella has been able to win on Rogues in pure speed and I believe that has something to do with the boat that quite amazingly, given the lack of experience of its designer on this type of boats, is the faster one.
Saying this, I would love that those 1200nm to the end would be enough for Pella to win over Rogues even if I think that would be almost impossible. An all Spanish team winning a French transat would be a blast
Cartographie Transat Jacques Vabre 2013 | Suivez la course en direct !
On the mini transat great sailing for Benoit Marie that managed to overtake for the first time Pedote and his bathtube bow racer. It happened on 12k winds that should give already and advantage to Pedote's boat but had to do with strategy and different courses. Benoit has and advantage of 6nm.
Cartographie | Mini Transat 2013 - Douarnenez / Lanzarote / Pointe-à-Pitre
But what really makes this race great is not only the stories of the leaders (that are professional sailors) but the stories of the other 60, the passionate, more or less amateurs that have dreamed with this race and from whom the more important is to make it and cross the Atlantic. They have fantastic stories to tell. Just two of them:
Express repairs for Craig Horsfield: The South Africa navigator, who is based in Seattle, has contacted the Top 50, one of the vessels accompanying the race. He broke one of his rudders, went over the side to repair it and restarted immediately. All is well on board.
Ludovic Méchin recounts his epic: "I arrived in Rabat towards dusk, towed into the channel by a pleasure craft. Firstly, I had to do
all the paperwork. Then I got some sleep so I would be lucid by the time I started the repairs. A portion of the transom was ripped and another is delaminated inside. The next morning, on opening my email inbox in a cyber cafe, I found a message from three friends who warned me that they were on their way with tools and equipment. They arrived at 17.00 on the same day. Two cruising boats that were also in the harbor helped us a great deal too. Without this I would not have been able to leave.
It was raining, so, I had to do a repair with plywood and aluminum. Then, the passage to Lanzarote had to be done without much wind. Now I've beena ble to check up on the repairs, check the rig and the boat in general before moving on. I've also refuelled, because I ate almost everything on the detour to Rabat. I set out again in adventure mode, I'll make the crossing for myself, but especially for all those who helped me restart from Rabat. "
About the delivery to Sada after the cancellation of the first part of the race:
Sofie de Clercq (Ville de Marseillan)
"During my delivery, I had an autopilot problem. To get some rest I decided to heave to several times. But at no time did I think to stop. In any case, I'm really glad I did that. The scenery was really beautiful and I discovered something that I never would have known otherwise. In Minis, 35 knots is acceptable, but 40 knots, it's just too mutch ... "
Hugues Chollet (Soutenez le Bel Espoir)
"I never thought I'd be able to do what I did. When we left Gijon, we were not making headway, we couldn't make decent progress. Like many others, I stopped at Moras. At this time, I was at the bottom of a hole, really depressed. With some other competitors we found ourselves on one of the accompanying support boats where they gave us a good meal. The next day, morale had returned, it was almost beautiful. We knew there would be wind, but I told myself, this is a challenge, you have to go. We took a good bashing, but we made it. Looking back, I am proud to have managed it."
Robert Rosen Jacobson (Postillion Hotels):
"It is ironic that I am the first of the group to reach Sada. I honestly do not remember ever having met such difficult conditions in the Mini. But I started and was determined to make it to the end. On the passage around Cape Ortegal, the boat literally flew over the waves. I adopted a simple rhythm: let the autopilot steer and take refugee inside the boat, I watched the traffic on AIS and every fifteen to twenty minutes, I put my head out ... "
Ian Lipinski (Pas de futur sans numérique)
"The stop in Moras was a surreal. Two dozen Minis gathered in this industrial port, coupled up on buoys moorings. The most amazing moment was when Justine (Mettraux) and Clement (Bouyssou) took the decision to leave when Janus Tamme arrived in port with three reefs and a storm jib after being driven back from his passage round l’Estaca de Barres. You had to have some backbone to do that and to trust the files which forecast that the wind would ease off. "
and shattered dreams:
Katrina Ham capsizes outside Ribadeo: While delivering her boat to Sada, the Australian sailor reported a problem with her gooseneck and requested the assistance of an escort boat. On the outskirts of Ribadeo, she asked for a tow to enter the port. In the entrance channel a wave suddenly took the boat and capsized it. Katrina was not clipped on and fell into the water, but was immediately recovered by the Ribadeo's pilot. The sailor, who was very shocked, has been taken to hospital where she is under observation.
Katrina Ham (Shipyard Le Borgne), meanwhile, is out of the hospital. All is well, but she is still a very shocked sailor and her boat is not seaworthy.
Diane Reid Dismasted: 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.
Broken mast for David Genest: Late this morning the skipper of Bingo made contact with a passing cargo ship and sent the following information about his intentions to the Race Director. David is well, he does not intend to ask for assistance and is headed to Lanzarote at 4-5 knots, which suggests that part of the mast is still in place.
Yannick Le Clech dismasted: The disappointment must be tough for Yannick who had fought hard to be on the starting line for the Mini Transat. Victim of a dismasted off Porto, Yannick wanted to recover his boat himself, refusing to ask for outside assistance and instead building a jury rig. His adventure ended prematurely, but he has shown all the qualities of an outstanding seaman.
The story of Ian Lipinski on the very rough conditions of the beguining of the race and that lead to his cancelation:Ian Lipinski was dismasted on the first night of the Mini Transat. After activating his emergency beacon, he was recovered by the Mazouri, a cargo bound for Sfax, Tunisia, via Gibraltar. Ian is doing well and is safely on board but had to abandon his boat Pas de Futur sans Numérique, No. 539. Two days after the incident, here is his story:
It all over for 539, which I have had to abandon... I had three reefs in the main and a reefed solent overnight. The sea was rough but nothing more. I had a first warning last night hurtling down a steeper than usual wave. Result, I broached violently. All the gear was swept down the back, I found myself against the crash box! The boat dropped vertically and fell to the side. I release the tiller and drop into the water to leeward against the lifelines ... I'm OK again.
But late that night, after a ten-minute nap, I went to open the door to go outside, I felt the boat take off on a very fast surf. I just had time to stand firmly at the opening of the door, a second no more, when the boat was on its roof. The water instantly flooded the entire interior. I had perhaps 50 centimeters of air space left. Everything inside is floating and slopping around. It is all black ... and the boat is upside down, like an inverted umbrella! I did not really panick, but told myself very quickly that the situation was not terrible. No VHF, no reasonable opportunity to escape, no power inside the boat ... and still its not coming upright. I think that the water is cold and I will not be able to last in it very long. I soon realise that I cannot get out of this on my own and in five minutes I've decided to activate the EPIRB. I need a little time to find it because after this rodeo ride and in the dark I've lost my bearings a bit in the boat! Then I put on the TPS suit and that warms me up. I think I have been upside down for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Finally, the boat rights itself. I can get to the portable VHF in the safety box and manage to call "Cocoche" (Eric Cochet), 832. I hear that he re transmits my status to the escort boat, which offers to turn around and sail upwind to come to my aid. I say its not realistic and asked him to continue his journey because he can do nothing for me. I then trigger the the race tracker into distress mode. I set off a flare and send out a mayday on channel 16. It's still dark and I do not feel able to go out on the deck to release the rig, because I do not feel that assured on the boat in the TPS. The rig hull hits a bit but its OK more or less. The sun rises and I see a cargo ship passing because I'm not far from the axis of the DST. I set off a new flare ... No reaction from the cargo boat.
I can not seem to reach anyone on the portable VHF. I am looking for my passport stored in a workbook with a little money. I find it and slip it into my dry suit along with Panda, my soft toy I had taken on board for the first time! Coco, my second mascot, can not be found, but I keep myself busy looking for him... I try to empty the boat using a bucket. It's a mess and although I manage to lower the level a little, it quickly comes back in. I don't really feel in danger and I know that help is now triggered. Anyway, I don't feel I can go on on my own. The boat is destroyed and full of water, the electronics are all out, the steering broken ...
Then a ship arrives. I help them to locate me with a flare. He begins his maneuver but he's a little slow. His transom is towards me. I think I'll pass under the stern, which rises and falls with the waves 4 meters. Finally a huge crash at it comes down on poor 539, but thankfully I'm not crushed. The hull of Kalonig slides to leeward of the cargo ship and the crew throw me down mooring ropes which I secure on the winches. I'll have to climb the rope ladder that the crew lower against the hull of the ship. It goes up; it goes down: you have find the precise moment to jump on the rope at the top of the wave. Please do not fall into the water. At the third attempt I managed to climb the rope ladder and 5 seconds later I'm on the deck of the ship. Time to watch my mini drift away in the wake ...
The captain is wonderful and very caring with me. I have a deluxe cabin and I'll pass the Strait of Gibraltar for the first time in my life! I haven't yet had much time to think, I slept and ate. I will get my revenge next time. I do not really think I made a mistake, other than to have not taken shelter in the lee of the coast ... But then, I would not have been racing ...
We are off to Sfax, Tunisia. We should arrive Tuesday.
692 Dismasted: Mini 6.50 No. 692 (Diaoulic 692) was dismasted on Thursday afternoon. The skipper Yannick Clech did not request assistance and assured the Race Director that all was well on board. He is currently heading to Lisbon under jury rig and try to go again.
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Last edited by PCP; 11-25-2013 at 08:55 AM.