A second win for Jorg Riechers
The Bay of Douarnanez has got the reputation of being a complicated place especialy in light conditions and it really lived up to its reputation this year for the Mini class' Trophée Marie Agnès Peron.
The weather forecast for the start looked good - the complicated bit was forecasting for the middle of the race but like always there is a little bit of a difference between the forcast and the reality.
After a straight forward beat to the windward mark set for the course which I rounded in second place I thought it would be an easy downwind leg to the Raz du Seine but - great mistake - there were more windholes in the Bay than in a Swiss cheese! So it became clear that the goal for the first bit of the race was to stay alive, which was easier said then done. In the end I survived the Bay of Douarnanez to face the next challenge - the Raz du Seine.
Because of a slow leg out of the Bay the current had already turned and the Raz du Seine is a little bit like the Solent: a river of water in the ocean. So with the current turning against me and the wind dieing I had to pray for enough wind to just get out of the claws of the Raz. I think the wind gods must be fans of the Mare Magazin because they allowed me to get to Penmark in a decent 7 to 8 knot breeze. Just 100m behind me was the cut off line, as behind this every boat was swallowed by the giant Raz du Seine black hole.
Together with me, only Guillaume Le Brec on the 667 Eva Luna and Romain Bouchet on the 454 Brazelleg made it through. All the other boats were stopped for around three or four as they waited for the tide to turn - so it was clear for us that the podium positions were safe, it was just a question of who was getting which place.
What followed was a though battle for first place between Guillaume Le Brec and me. In the end the outcome was decided in the Bay of Audierne were I found a little bit more current to open up a gap of 45 minutes ahead of Guillaume. At the entrance of the Bay I was just roughly a mile in front of him.
With an advance of nearly a hour, the last 20 miles to Douarnanez became quiet easy as I just had to make sure to not to do any super big mistakes.
In the end this was the second win in a row - a super cool thing. With one second place and two wins in three races life really looks bright for the mare.de team and it is a real motivation for the things to come - the Mini Fastnet, the Azores Race and, last but not least, the Route du Rhum on the stunning new Owen Clarke designed Class 40 we have chartered."
Full proto results here
Full series results here