Tough Spaniards

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• Spanish sailors getting organised on the Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe
• Fidel Turienzo and Nacho Postigo, determined to be at the start of the second leg
• An experienced coach, Anna Corbella

A few days before the start of the second leg of the Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe, the entire fleet gradually switches to race mode. For some, the stopover will have not really been a break, like for Fidel Turienzo (Satanas) and Nacho Postigo (Vamos Vamos).

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At the end of the prototypes pontoon, Fidel Turienzo is hard at work. For the Spanish sailor, the stopover in Lanzarote will have been a long race against the clock to be ready to leave with a new mast. Following his dismasting in the first leg, Fidel wanted to put a new spar in place to replace his weakened rigging. The only option was the wing-mast which was fitted to the 198, sister ship of Fidel’s n°304. Rising to the challenge, Fidel Turienzo went off to Brittany to recover the key element for the second leg: a 24-hour sail brought him safely to Lorient where the Mini solidarity chain moved into action. After recovering the mast in Lorient, he went to La Trinité sur Mer to meet the owner of the mast, Sébastien Picault, to sign a hire agreement. At the same time, he made a detour to Thierry Fagnent’s shipyard, master in the art of composites, who gave him some tips on transforming his boat, initially equipped with a conventional mast. The journey continued with a few stops, Les Sables d’Olonne to recover the measurer’s scales, La Rochelle to catch up with Iker Martinez, for whom he was a technical preparator, before arriving in Santander where he undertook the preparatory work for his mast. Once ready, it was conveyed to Cadiz where it was boarded on a ferry to Lanzarote. Meanwhile, Fidel returned to Madrid to catch a flight, the trip being cheaper than by boat… In Lanzarote, the Spanish sailor finally recovered his mast and equipment and after a week of work, he had built a new base, altered the attachment points of his rig, and built reinforcements to support the wing mast. He did his first sea-trial on Monday. Since then, Fidel has passed the measurement and safety tests. He has just three days to ensure his boat is in optimal condition. But the Asturian sailor remains confident: “I have been able to test the boat, the first sensations are good”. Sometimes determination can move mountains.

Anna Corbella, well-intentioned advice
Nacho Postigo has also showed unusual determination. Victim of a tailgating while being towed out of the port of Douarnenez, he had to endure the battles of experts around his damaged keel, obtain permission to convey his boat by road to Portugal, have a new keel fin made, again convey his boat by trailer to Portimao in southern Portugal, to finally set sail and deliver Vamos Vamos safely to Lanzarote.

If the Spanish sailors have had mixed fortunes in this first leg, they also know they can count on the advice of Anna Corbella, who has already taken part twice in the Barcelona World Race, in which she finished third in the last edition. Anna, too, began with the Mini Transat, where she was able to benefit from the advice of Jaume Mumbrú. Today she coaches a group of Spanish sailors from the new Mini base in Barcelona. “My first task, rather than telling them what to do, is to guide them about mistakes to be avoided. For example, together we set up a race programme of progressive difficulty. It is pointless to begin with a Mini Fastnet, which is surely one of the most demanding pre-season races. The Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe is, for all these Spanish racers, an opportunity to understand a project in its totality. I am here to guide them, to help them, under no circumstances to set them in a mould. This is the most beautiful of races – they must be able to live it fully”.

 

Note: The Mini Transat – Îles de Guadeloupe 2015: For the 20th edition and for the second time, the Mini Transat Îles de Guadeloupe returns to its origins with a start from Douarnenez (France). The Breton harbour will see the fleet of 72 solo sailors will set off on the 19th of September to Lanzarote, where the Mini 6,50 will stop before the Atlantic stage start on 31st October. The Mini Transat – Îles de Guadeloupe 2015 solo sailors are expected to finish some three weeks later in Pointe-à-Pitre to a warm Caribbean welcome. The 2,700 nautical mile race from France to the Caribbean is the longest solo race for the smallest of boats. Each solo sailor will be tested to the limit on this unique adventure: a trans-atlantic race in a small boat and confined space where you have just yourself to depend on.

Key Figures
The Race
72 boats
26 protos
46 series
7 support boats

The Skippers
68 men
4 women
52 rookies
20 return competitors
33 years average age
The youngest: 22 years old (Julien Hereu and Quentin Vlamynck)
The oldest: 56 years old (Carlos Lizancos)
15 nationalities

The Course
4021nm, 2 stopovers, 3 towns
Douarnenez – Lanzarote 1257nm
Lanzarote – Pointe-à-Pitre 2764nm

Key Dates
7th October 2015 – Prize Giving 1st Stage in Lanzarote
24th October 2015 – Prologue and Prize Giving (Lanzarote)
31st October 2015 – Start 2nd Stage: Lanzarote – Point-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe)
14th November 2015 – Estimated arrival time for the first boat at Point-à-Pitre

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