Published on 7 October 2021
Utilising the variations in the breeze to best effect
Whilst Melwin Fink, the leader of the fleet of production boats, is expected to make the finish line in Santa Cruz de La Palma this Thursday between 14:00 and 16:00 UTC, the bulk of the fleet in the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef is continuing to deal as best it can with a very fluky NE’ly breeze, which is accompanying the skippers on their journey to the Canaries. The leaders of the chasing pack are at the latitude of the Western Sahara, whilst the sailors lagging behind are level with Lisbon, but both groups of solo sailors are gybing under spinnaker. Like yesterday, the name of the game for every one of them is to try to keep in step with the elements and nail the timing of the gybes. Hugo Dhallenne (979 – YC Saint Lunaire) seems to be particularly comfortable in this exercise, continuing to claw back miles in relation to the two leaders, Melwin and Christian Kargl (980 – All Hands on Deck), while stretching away from the chasing pack whose overall speeds contrast wildly. For now, the Mini sailors positioned furthest east are benefiting from a little more pressure than those further west, with between 10 and 20 knots of breeze according to the zone in question. However things play out, all of them are still on track with yesterday’s routing simulations and their ETAs remain unchanged. So, what are the points of note out on the racetrack today? Victor Turpin (850 – Pays d’Iroise) is experiencing some helm issues but is continuing towards the Canaries. Elsewhere, birthday girl Lina Rixgens (982 – Avanade) is 27 today and though her boat’s suffering rudder damage, she’s hanging on in there.