The latest on the MiniTransat debacle…
In the absence of an opening in the next forty-eight hours, the race committee has decided to bring the Mini fleet back into Port Rhu where there are far more comfortable facilities to endure the wait. Yesterday’s proposal to rally in Gijon before passing Cape Finisterre is temporarily abandoned. Finally, a color-coded system for all those interested in the race has been set up to warn of the possibility of imminent departure. Explanations. Website here.
To understand the situation, imagine the dividing line from the Bretton penninsular to Cape Finisterre. This highway is, for the moment, being swept by the western margin of the strong to very strong southwesterly winds. Inshore of that line the conditions are much more manageable, but it is a potential trap for competitors who may be at risk of being caught in the bay and not being able to get out. At the moment the winds are particularly strong between the Ortegal peninsula and Cape Finisterre, where gusts of over 50 knots are expected in the coming days.
The Gijon option
This situation has led the race committee not to activate the option of a stopover in Gijon. Given current projections, the risk was too great that the fleet would find itself stuck in the Asturian port, unable to safely navigate the 180 miles separating Gijon and the tip of Galicia in the face of strong winds from the west. This option can be activated only if the Spanish stopover permitted a maximum wait of two to three days before crossing the tip of Spain. The race director does not discount any options, in the interests of the competitors.
The meanings of the colour code
Currently, it is very hard on everyone to stay poised each day while waiting for a hypothetical departure. The organisers have decided to implement a colour code to anticipate future decisions.
Code Red: no departure is planned in the next 36 hours.
Code Orange: there is the possibility of a start in the next 36 hours.
Green Code: there is the possibility of a start in the next 24 hours.