Leg two of the Charente Maritime-Bahia Transat 6.50 (Mini Transat) set sail from Funchal, Madeira at 13:30 local time today. After the gun the fleet of Protos and Series class boats sailed to a windward mark in front of the Club Naval de Funchal before turning their bow to the next compulsory passage mark located just over 1,000 miles south, between the islands of Santo Antao and Maio in the Cape Verdes. The wind for the start was 6 knots from the SSW.
Sandrine Bertho, who competed in 2009 and is now a board member of Classe Mini, warned all the competitors at the last briefing in Funchal last night: "Enjoy everything, enjoy every moment of this transatlantic because once in Brazil and Salvador, you will be filled with joy of course, but it will also be the end of a dream patiently and passionately prepared for months and years."
76 boats made today's start. Pole Radoslaw Kowalczyk (790 -Calbud) only arrived last night at around 2100 m - after a short night, a medical and technical check - he chose to make the start. Only Italian Sergio Frattaruollo (769 Bologna in oceano) remained in port. He discovered this morning that he had a problem with his fuel cell and wanted to solve it. Now all is fine, and he left Funchal's marina in the middle of the afternoon to join the rest of the fleet.
The weather forecast promised a light start not helped by Funchal being located on the south side of a volcanic island and is completely sheltered from the wind, so it took the competitors several hours to get out to open water.
After a short two mile sprint which the boats covered in less than 40 minutes, so Etienne David on Team Work was the first to mark closely followed by four other competitors - Thomas Normand (787 - Financière de l'Echiquier) - and the first series boat of Italian Giacomo Sabbatini (554 - Scusami La Spalle). Andrea Caracci (756 - Speedy Maltese) and Bertrand Delesne (754 - Zone Large).