It's on ... the weather is finally set to allow the Mini Transat fleet to leave Brittany. Although the crossing of the Bay of Biscay should be completed safely, rounding Cape Finisterre could be tricky with the wind filling in for the final competitors. However, it is by far the best conditions seen over the last two weeks.
The competitors are torn. On the one hand, they all want to escape Douarnenez, despite the quality of the welcome of the host port and its inhabitants. But at the same time, the road ahead is not going to be easy. The main obstacle en route to Lanzarote is Cape Finisterre, as the fleet's arrival at the northwest corner Spain may coincide with the wind strengthening to 30 knots. These conditions will be far from comfortable, but that should not be an insurmountable obstacle for the fleet of Minis. However, Race Director Denis Hughes reminded everyone during the weather briefing on Monday night, that each competitor has the right to stop for 48 hours in a port of his choice, as stated in the sailing instructions.
To cross the Bay of Biscay, the fleet is expected to start in northwesterlies which will quickly die down backing into the west. Friday night to Saturday should be more difficult to negotiate for the Mini sailors around Cape Finisterre as strong southwesterlies develop. But the winds will veer quickly into the northwest and then should gradually free up on the run south to the Canaries.
Of greater concern is the news that came in today of the loss of 15 'boxes' from a container ship between Cape Finisterre and Ushant. The Race Director is in contact with the the Maritime Authorities in order to clarify the positition of the containers and communicate this to the competitors.
Timing of Departure:
- 6:30 start check in and deposit of cell phones
- 7:00 to 8:00 depart from the pontoons in Tréboul
- 9:00 Warning signal for the Douarnenez to Lanzarote leg.
- The starting line will be set before l’île Tristan and will be visible from the pier Tréboul .