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After what seems like an eternity, the 2013 MiniTransat is a go…

It’s on … The weather will finally allow the fleet of 84 Minis to leave the shores of Brittany. Although the crossing of the Bay of Biscay should be completed safely, the passage around Cape Finisterre could be tricky for the final competitors. However, it by far the best conditions for the past two weeks.

They are torn. On the one hand, they all want to escape from Douarnenez despite the quality of the welcome of the Cornouaillais port and its inhabitants . But at the same time, the road ahead is not going to be a bed of roses. The main obstacle on the way to Lanzarote, is in the vicinity of Cape Finisterre, as their arrival there may coincide with a strengthening in the wind of up to 30 knots. Conditions that will be far from comfortable, but that should not be an insurmountable obstacle for the fleet of Minis. However, Denis Hughes, the Race Director, reminded everyone during the weather briefing on Monday night, that each competitor has the right to stop for 48 hours in a port of his choice, as stated in the sailing instructions.

To cross the Bay of Biscay, the fleet is expected to start in a regime of northwesterly which will quickly die down before moving into a westerly dominant sector. Friday night to Saturday should be more difficult to negotiate for the Ministes who are still in the vicinity of Cape Finisterre in a regime of strong southwesterlies. But the winds will turn quickly to the north-west and then should gradually ease off on the run into the Canaries. More difficult to handle is news that came in today, namely the loss of 15 “boxes” from a container ship between Cape Finisterre and Ushant. The Race Director is in contact with the the Maritime Authorities in order to clarify the positition of the containers and communicate this to the competitors.

 

October 28th, 2013

Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.

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