November 14, 2019
This morning, a bleak message came from the organizers of the Mini-Transat sailing regatta: Irina Gracheva, who had been traveling the last day with a broken mast, faced new technical problems, which did not allow her to stay in the race. At about 3 p.m. (MSK), Irina boarded the escort vessel, she is healthy and safe.
Even at night, a mark on the race map disappeared indicating the position of the Russian yacht Irina Gracheva at the Mini-Transat distance. The organizers said that Irina changed the tracker’s operating mode to save energy in order to extend the battery charge for a longer time.
Later clarifying information was received: on the yacht both autopilots (main and spare) failed, which makes it almost impossible to continue participating in the race. More than 1,000 miles remain to the finish line, and at the current speed of 3–3.5 knots, the path to Martinique will take almost two weeks. To do it without an autopilot seems hardly possible, sufficiently safe and most importantly expedient, because the race leaders will finish today or tomorrow, and the most notorious outsiders will come to Saint-Martin in a week …
In this situation, Irina decided to stop the race and requested help from the organizers. We will have more accurate and possibly more correct information after we receive a message from the rider herself.
The participation of the Russian yachtswoman in Mini-Transat was supported by NORD consulting, Griffon, Ullman Sails, Fordewind-Regatta, Gill, A.P.I. Marine, Sail Ropes, NAVTEAM, WISTA Russia, Alfa Insurance, Aquapac, Mobile Age, Nautix, MX6, Lyophilise & Co.
Sponsorship of Irina Gracheva is provided by the Path Yachting Foundation.
450 November 14, 2019 # 9684