Photo: Marc Sauvageot

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Intense winds in the Bay of Biscay next week

Thursday October 10th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

A deep depression sitting off the Bay of Biscay could, if the start went ahead on Sunday, hit the fleet in the worst place, to the north of Cape Finisterre. To allow the singlehanded sailor to reach the stopover port in Lanzarote in acceptable conditions, the Race Director has consulted the competitors and made ​​his decision: the start will delayed until a favorable weather window is found.

Some decisions are not easy to take. While Douarnenez is still in glorious sunshine, the threat is very real as a depression is currently centred in the Atlantic, level with the Azores, which is expected to generate strong winds and seas of more than 4 meters height during the day on Tuesday, ie precisely when the fleet will prepare to round Cape Finisterre .

Monday or Thursday
The challenge will now be to find a favourable weather window to send 84 singlehanders aboard their 21ft yachts out into the Bay of Biscay. Because, from the moment the decision to postpone is taken, there must be guaranteed safe conditions. An opening could come during the day on Monday, but the situation remains highly uncertain. Otherwise, there is a good chance that the fleet will have to be patient until at least until next Thursday. Given this situation, the Race Director made a proposal to start tomorrow, Friday, at 18:00. Such a decision would only be made with the unanimous agreement of all the competitors. But some did not feel ready and the proposal was immediately abandoned.

Denis Hughes, Race Director commnted: "We have 84 solo sailors that we will send out on the water. There is no question of sending them in weather conditions that would not be acceptable. We had planned to bring forward the start, but in view of the preparation of some, this was not reasonable. "

Bertrand Nardin, President of Douarnenez Races added: "We are working to try to provide a regatta course in Douarnenez Bay on Sunday. The idea is to offer an alternative to the partners and families of the competitors who had planned to be present on the day of the start."


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