The last stretch

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• The first sailors successfully reach Lanzarote
• The community of Mini-ists together throughout the night
• Behind the leaders, the competition is fierce

Little by little, the pontoon reserved for the Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe fills up. Essentially, the prototypes have taken up most of the spaces, with only two series boats arriving into port so far.

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At the meeting point for the Mini-ists, tongues are wagging. The third half-time was in full swing late into the night. Over beers, they talked over the race and some topics came up again and again : ‘’ tartiner velu’’ which means that someone has gone past reasonable limits, or has made the boat overreach itself, that someone has done some damage while trying to push too hard. The ‘’coups de mou’’ means that everyone is working to the limits of their physical capacity , they’ve slept at the tiller, or they have suffered hallucinations. With all of the accumulated adrenaline, many of them wanted to wait to welcome their friends who are still arriving at the end of the night, and then to wander through the streets of Arrecife in search of a little bistro to finish up the night. The community of Mini-supporters is coming back together little by little, to delete the memroies of the hours of solitude in the sea, with a true feeling of fraternity. Amateur or Professional, they have lived through the same torments, have sailed along on the same tightrope with the same worries, have had the same desire to scream with pleasure when surfing along endlessly.

The solidarity of the Minis in action
Although quarter of the fleet had arrived in Lanzarote, the battle was still fierce amongst those in the series boats for the best finishing positions (and this was the majority of sailors still at sea) Behind Charly Fernbach (Le Fauffiffon Hénaff), who came in third (which was a great performance for his first experience with solo sailing on his Pogo 3) the battle was raging. Julien Pulvé (Novintiss) didn’t have any worries about being able to take a podium position with only two miles to go in his boat representing the Structures boatyard. Behind him, the battle for fifth position was on between Patrick Girod (Nescens), Armand de Jacquelot (We Van) and Thomas Guichard (Carrefour). After this, we should see the arrival of Edouard Golbery (Les Enfants du Canal), Simon Brunisholz (www.defiatlantique.ch MiniLab), Olivier Taillard (Alternative Sailing – Kerhis), as well as the Polish sailor, Radoslaw Kowalczyck (Calbud) in his prototype, which is due to be reproduced as a series boat.

For all the competitors, these are the last hours at sea, the blessed hours, according to the conversations that some have been able to have with the National marine patrol boat, the PSP Flamant. When he was barely in sight of the coast of the Canaries, Armand de Jacquelot said that he couldn’t wait to take off again on the second stage. The years may pass, but the Mini Transat still has the same addictive power.

The sailors said :
Julien Pulvé: « I haven’t given up on this stage, but I am still not that pleased with my tactical choices. I should have taken advantage of the winds, but I was being a wise boy and I remembered the Mini Transat from 2013. I am hardly ever totally happy with my sailing or my performance, and the boat is in perfect condition. I will remember for a long time the long smooth ride down the whole coast of Portugal, I couldn’t wait to arrive in Lanzarote and I am going to give 100% until I cross the line. In other news, I just missed being hit in the head by a flying fish last night- I just managed to get out of the way. That happened to me 2 years ago. I don’t know they have against me !

Patrick Girod: ” Last night was pretty hard going, with a wind that got up to about 20-22 knots. That was rough !! I broke a few small things during the course of the first stage. I sailed along with Armand de Jacquelot for three days, and Julien Pulvé then infiltrated our group. It’s motivating when you have some people to talk to. We can share all our little happy moments together”.

Armand de Jacquelot: ‘’ This stage has been very interesting. It’s quite psychological at the start, in the group. Then the way ahead has been marked out. It made me very happy to surf at almost 20 knots in the Portuguese coastal waters. I was often in contact with other boats while I sailed, and we had a lot of fun, so I hope the finish towards Lanzarote will provide some more adventures. As for me, I am already looking forward to leaving on the second stage !!’’

Thomas Guichard: ‘’When the coasts came into view, the conditions were idyllic- it was impossible not to be happy! The race started badly for me in the bay of Douarnenez. I found myself at the tail end of the group, This mistake spurred me on to do better. I fought harder than ever and I regained some ground, thanks to good positioning. If someone had offered me this position before I started the race, I would have signed on the dotted line’’

Positions on 27th September at 15 :00 (TU+2) :
Prototypes ( Eurovia Cegelec class):
1 Davy Beaudart – 865 – Flexirub
2 Axel Tréhin – 716 – Aleph Racing
3 Frédéric Denis – 800 – Nautipark

14 Alberto Bona – 756 – Onelinesim.ità 12,5 nm de l’arrivée
15 Radoslaw Kowalczyck – 894 – Calbud à 25,6 nm
16 Nikki Curwen – 741 – Go Ape ! Live Life Adventurously à 84,5 milles

Series (Ocean Bio-Actif class)
1 Ian Lipinski – 866 – Entreprise(s) Innovante(s) arrivé à 06h 01mn 24s
2 Tanguy Le Turquais – 835 – Terréal arrivé à 13h 35mn 31s
3 Charly Fernbach -869- (Hénaff le Fauffiffon) à 18,5 nm de l’arrivée
4 Julien Pulvé – 880 – Novintiss à 1,9 nm
5 Patrick Girod – 824 – Nescens à 6,1 nm

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