Gigantic crowds saw the Minis set off for Madera from La Rochelle on Sunday, with mayhem on the course at the start. French spectators all over the map with no regard for exclusion buoys, competitors sailing to the wrong turning mark, it was basically anarchy on the water under beautiful skies with perfect weather. Here’s “Mini Anarchy” skipper Chris Tutmark’s last report before leaving.
Well, it’s 0630 on Sunday morning here in La Rochelle and I’m awake going over emails, and the latest updates of the weather info. The first leg is looking like it will be a quick one with NE winds between 15-20 in Biscay. Likely the big challenge of the leg will be Finisterre as the forecast presently calls for it to be rather windy, 25-35 with gusts 40. Fortunately this will be wind behind us instead of something we’ll be sailing into. From Finisterre the pressure stays with us down the coast of Portugal for a while with the approach into Madeira looking a bit lighter and possibly variable. The boat is ready and I just have to get my clothes packed and stowed and rig everything up. My bag of food and equipment going to Madeira was dropped off last night. I will turn in my cell and hand off the bag getting shipped home this morning and then it is finally time to go racing. Wish me luck.
You can check out a comprehensive interview with Tutmark here, with some great Mini info that you might not have known before. See Lyn Hines’ story about the start below, and you can track the entire field here. And you can see sexy Sam Davies speak French right here. Yum!
We’ll check back with Chris when he lands in Madera.