On the course – the Atlantic

On Saturday, November 2 at 16:30 Moscow time has been launched the second stage of the transatlantic race Mini Transat La Boulangère. Fleet participants – a total of 82 boats divided into two divisions, came from Las Palmas and headed for Martinique. Andrey Petrov Says:

The race started in perfect wind conditions with associated Passat a speed of about fifteen knots, which, according to the forecast, grows stronger as riders from the shadows of the Canary Islands.

On the second (main) stage, the yachtsmen will go 2700 miles in the open ocean. Before the start of the participant of the regatta Irina Gracheva (Serie 579) shared their idea of what conditions will be riders on this transition.

“Almost all the way we expect a fairly stable trade winds – said the Russian yachtswoman. We consider two models that, with the same direction of predict different strength of the wind. According to one of them, the wind will be strong: an average of 20 knots, gusts to 30 and even up to 35 knots – at least in the first half of the race. Another model predicts lighter winds of 15-18 knots with gusts to 25 knots. Given this forecast, it is possible to offer a clear and simple strategy: first, you need to deal with wind shadows and acceleration zones near the Canary Islands, and continue to follow the General course and doing the turns, keeping the best СMG (course made good. – Approx. Ed.) that is go with gals that brings you to the finish point. Of course, we will adjust their plans according to the forecasts we receive from the organizers during the race, but while the strategy looks so simple. A bit of climb to the North, and continue on to the local oscillations and the visits”.

This forecast is not too optimistic for an old boat as a full course at a wind of considerable strength – is a native element for yachts new projects such as Pogo3, Maxi, Vector. In very strong winds they have a great advantage over the previously built boats are on average 2-3 site faster. Probably in the first days of the race it is yacht these projects will go forward and continue to constantly increase the advantage.

The trumps, however, have other participants, and not necessarily all of them will fight with each other, inside a conditional group of “old” boats. Especially on such a long race anything can happen.

How unpredictable can be a race can be judged by how many technical problems faced by the athletes at the start. So, barely leaving the harbour of Las Palmas, was forced to return to berth, the Frenchman Raphael Lutar (Proto 900), time noticed a problem with the antenna mount on the mast. Remedy took not much time, and to start Rafael was late only for 15 minutes. But his compatriot David Kremer (Proto 260) who detected problems from the autopilot and returned to shore for a quick repair, lost on this one and a half hours.

Frenchwoman amélie Grassi (Serie 944) and Marie Gendron (Proto 930) is also the first attempt failed to progress beyond the coastal zone, and catching up with fleet after the regatta started. On the boat at Amelie was damaged bowsprit, and Marie was faced with a whole bunch of technical faults.

Not spared the problem and the Russians: Fyodor Druzhinin (Proto 759) reported damage to the technical elements of the mast and was a long time in the rest of the fleet, trying to cope with the breakdown under the guise of the Islands. How much successful there was this attempt, it will be clear soon, in the meantime, judging by the tracking, the current rate his boat, fortunately close to the General. You can not say about the French racer Jean Laura (Serie 520), whose footprint clearly indicates that the yachtsman is perpendicular to the main direction, moving to the North side of El Hierro, probably the repair.

As at 15:00 (GMT) Monday Irina Gracheva was in the 52nd position in the serial division, preferring a considerable distance from the General course to the South, and Fyodor Druzhinin remains in 20th place in the division “Proto”. However, to estimate the position of the racers is premature, the Navy has significantly stretched in height, and at the same time, the projection positions of the participants on the General line of give while quite small, the scale of distance, divergence.

Andrei Petrov

Part of Irina Gracheva in the Mini-Transat is supported by the companies of NORD consulting, Griffon, Ullman Sails, Fordewind-Regatta, Gill, A. P. I. Marine, Sail Ropes, NAVTEAM, WISTA Russia, “Alfa insurance”, Aquapac, “Mobile century”, Nautix, MX6, Lyophilise & Co.

Sponsorship Irina Gracheva provides Path Yachting Foundation.

To follow the progress of the race on the official website of the Mini Transat –


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