Solid leads for Pedote and Lipinski
The Mini Transat fleet continues to make progress towards the northwest corner of Spain and the port of Sada, where they are to stop to await a suitable weather window for them to continue south to the Canary Islands.
Italian competitor Giancarlo Pedote on the mighty 2011 Transat-winning scow Prysmian continues to hold the lead in the Proto class, with just 68 miles left to go before reaching Sada (located next door to La Coruna) at the 0700 UTC sched. The leaders are upwind at present but there is a weak cold front (orientated along a NE-SW axis) that is slowly crossing the Bay of Biscay at present and behind this the wind will veer into the west, freeing up the boats. At present the Protos leaders are on a south-going tack, unable to lay Sada, with the exception of race favourite Gwénolé Gahinet on Watever/logways (currently in fourth) who is westbound at present and looking set to be first to pick up the shift. However there isn't much race left to regain the Italian's eight mile lead.
While the Protos are sticking pretty closely to the direct route to the finish, the same cannot be said in the Series class behind them. Overnight Ian Lipinski on Pas de futur sans numerique has taken the lead after a long port tack out to the west, that has allowed him to pull out a lead of 6.7 miles over second placed Aymeric Belloir on Tout le monde chante contre le cancer, who is also part of the westerly group, that seems to have done better overnight than the bulk of the Series fleet that has opted to remain east.
We're pleased to report that sole British competitor Pip Hare on her Pogo 2 The Potting Shed has had a better 24 hours and is getting into the swing of it. From 38th place 24 hours ago, she's now up to 22nd place and among the leaders of the easterly group.
In terms of the weather going forwards and the duration of the stopover in Sada, the Bracknell synoptic charts are showing a depression centre moving into the Bay of Biscay tonight with the cold front attached to this crossing the fleet in the early hours of Saturday morning (by which time the depression centre will be over London...) However on the heels of this is another cold front associated with another depression steaming in from the Atlantic. However by Sunday it looks like it will be back to situation normal with the Azores high re-establishing itself.