This Saturday 2 November, the start of the second leg of the Mini-Transat La Boulangère was given at 14:33 UTC in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The fleet is bound for Le Marin, in Martinique. The race set sail in lovely conditions with a trade wind of around fifteen knots, which is due to build as the competitors get clear of the Canary Islands. The weather is forecast to be good, favouring a rapid passage throughout the 2,700 miles leading to Martinique. Axel Tréhin (prototype) and Ambrogio Beccaria (production) are leading the way at the end of the first leg, but there is little separating the chasing pack and this second act may completely reshuffle the cards.
Reactions from the sailors as they leave the pontoons:
Ambrogio Beccaria (production boat, winner of the first leg): “I’m a bit stressed as the weather is moving around a lot. It’s not easy to decide whether we need to head South or North. We’ll need to adapt to the situation rather than sticking to a ready-made strategy. However, that’s one thing I know how to do. Once we set sail, things will be a lot better. I think there will continue to be little separating us.”
Keni Piperol (production boat, 14th in the first leg): “The start of the race is going to be important. We’re going to have to put in some good tacks, position ourselves nicely and avoid having our passage blocked in the wind shadows created by the islands. We’ve been wanting to get back out sailing again for a while now. I’ve already completed the Mini-Transat but every passage is different. The boat isn’t the same and the conditions are different.”
Céline Sallès (production boat, 54th in the first leg): “It’s hard to find the words to describe what’s going on in my head, there’s a big mixture of emotions. So much has happened just to get to this stage, it’s almost a relief to be here. When we unroll the course chart, we realise that we’re pretty small on our little boats. I’m going to try to move up the leader board a few places, but I don’t feel any stress in that regard.”
Pierre Moizan (prototype, 12th in the first leg): “We’ve been preparing for this for a very long time, nearly three years in my case. It’s strange to be here on the big day itself. Yesterday, I felt very stressed but today things are better. After a three-week break, we’re really going to need to get back into the swing of things. A few hours on the boat and we’ll be able to get back into the rhythm. We may come across some friends from the Transat Jacques Vabre, which will be nice.”
Daniele Nanni (production boat, 55th in the first leg): “I feel happy, the weather is very good and the boat is ready. It’s going to be the perfect transatlantic. It’s the first time that I’ve really crossed the Atlantic singlehanded. It’s exciting and a bit stressful. I still find it a bit hard to grasp the fact that I’m going to take the start of the second leg of the Mini-Transat La Boulangère.”
Further information to follow over the course of the afternoon