Originally Posted by PCP
On the mini transat the race is HOT!!!!
Benoit Marie quite unexpectedly has showed that his boat and himself could be a match to Pedote and his bathtube bow boat downwind in medium to strong winds. Decidedly Pedote's boat bigger advantage is on a beam reach where he can take advantage of all extra RM. Benoit Marie recovered all the miles lost and is now at 25nm at 326nm from the finish and it is faster almost 1k than Pedote. Maybe Pedote has some problem with his sails.
Regarding the trio that are battling for 3th, Delesne has finally managed to overtake Garcia and is at 33nm from Remi but Remi has a better wind angle and is winning miles over him. Garcia and is old boat seem not to be completely beaten by Delesne: They are 1k faster now and it is possible that we will have here a great fight till the finish.
I suspect the wind conditions may be very localized as they approach the finish, which could account for the speed discrepancies. Even though the little green arrows on the metéo make conditions look the same across a large area, in my experience that is seldom the case. All it takes is to sail into a hole and you will lose a lot of miles very quickly. Nothing worse than going slow while other boats pass you nearby.
And light air is where we know the scow is vulnerable and the more conventional designs have an advantage. Pedote can only hope that he can stay in decent breeze to the finish. He was only 0.8 knots slower than Marie at the last update, with 320nm to go. Fermin, with the hotter angle, was 2.5 knots faster than Delesne, which will help him remain calm for a while longer.
This has really been a superb race, even with all the RC screw-ups in the early weeks. It will be interesting to see if they change the format for future Transats and start with a short leg to Spain or Portugal, followed by a long leg to the finish. Might be the best way to deal with the tricky Bay of Biscay in the future. Getting around Finisterre was certainly brutal this year.