Twiddling thumbs in Gijon
From Gijon to Sada, the Mini sailors are gagging to leave. The group has organised itself and with typical good humour is prepared to wait it out while watching for a favourable weather window.
The experiences of those arriving from the Bay of Biscay varied considerably depending on how far to the west they were and their resourcefulness in coping with this unexpected period ashore and the speed with which their circumstances keep changing.
It's hard to imagine all the little annoyances caused by the impromptu stop.
When the Mini sailors left on this first leg they only brought a few essential changes of clothes for life at sea. What they had with them was for life at sea, not ideally for life ashore.
The impromptu stopover in Gijon has been awkward especially for those who were relying on families and friends to have things organised for them in Lanzarote at the end of this first leg (where the original schedule had them arriving almost two weeks ago).
As a result the Mini sailors have taken over (with the generous agreement of the club) the premises of the Clube Naval de Gijon and have unearthed some local gems. A boarding house with dormitories has been requisitioned for the fleet and competitors have come together in groups working together to purchases underwear, socks and other items of clothing where they needed local language. This curious new gang of misfits attracts some curious glances around the Asturian port, but at least they are dry, while the local tapas bars are experiencing an unexpected windfall in early November.
The five singlehanders who managed to make it to Sada will soon be joined by Stan Maslard. As the racing to date has been abandoned - the leg from Douarnanez to Sada is void - there is nothing to stop the competitors who retired returning to the race course.This is good news for Maslard who is racing Groupe Sefico, the only new Proto in the fleet, but which suffered damage on the first leg and had to return to Douarnanez.
Maslard has towed Groupe Sefico by road down to Sada where he will join the five boats already there.