23rd Mini Transat Eurochef
As expected, it is in all light winds (between 4 and 5 knots northeast winds) the start of the second stage of the 23rd edition of the Mini Transat Eurochef was given Friday afternoon, outside of Santa Cruz de La Palm. From the beginning, the pattern was set for solo sailors who will have to show patience and opportunism for the next 24-36 hours to leave the Canary Islands. The challenge ? Successfully overcoming the winds of the islands, and in particular that of Tenerife, whose highest point is 3,715 meters above sea level. “The effects of Teide are felt more than 60 kilometers away. Ministers will have to try to find the best passage between La Gomera and El Hierro that they have the obligation to leave to starboard. It will not be so easy, especially since they will also have to deal with with many areas of mild trade winds and poorly established “, explains Christian Dumard, meteorological consultant for the race. In this somewhat delicate context, obviously some surprises are to be expected, as well as the first significant deviations.” We will have to be good at that. next night will probably be very important ”, assured Tanguy Bouroullec (969 – Tollec MP / Pogo), current leader in the Proto classification with less than 1h10 ahead of Fabio Muzzolini (945 – Tartine sans Beurre) and Pierre Le Roy ( 1019 – TeamWork), but also less than 10 bonus hours for Irina Gracheva (800 – Path), the Russian navigator who could well perform remarkably well in the first few miles of the route. “The conditions are perfect for me and especially perfect for my boat. I know that I have a card to play in light winds, although I keep in mind that when it is very weak and very unstable, everyone is susceptible to being deceived or making a big mistake. In any case, it is a great challenge for me ”, explained the captain that she has already shown, and on numerous occasions, that she is absolutely formidable in light airs.
Know how to be zen and intelligent
“From the beginning, the game promises to be quite open. We will have to be encouraged and opportunistic because a mistake can quickly be paid for quite dearly, in the same way that a good option can quickly save a lot ”, confirmed Léo Debiesse (966 – Les Alphas), particularly at ease, also, in the calm. “Inevitably it will be a plus to leave the archipelago in the leading group, but the race will be very long afterwards. Even if someone stands out in the next few hours, that is not going to finish the race. I think a lot is going to unfold in my head. We will have to be solid until the end ”, assures the Lozérien. Same story or almost on the side of her competitor Anne-Claire Le Berre (1005 – Rendez-Vous Equilibre), author of the best start of this afternoon. “It is true that in the beginning, the departure from the Canary Islands may be a bit complicated but beyond that, and whatever happens next night, the game will be very open from behind. In my opinion, the key point will be in five or six days when we will have more visibility in the second part of the race. Today it is quite uncertain given that the trade winds are not completely established, but at some point we will have to choose the way forward ”, detailed the regatta.
On the way to the unknown
In fact, a few days later, after initially continuing their descent to the south, the Ministas will have no choice but to divert their trajectories to the right to reach the Antillean arc. Both parties will have to find the best compromise between going fast and traveling as little as possible. “We will have to compose according to the weather forecast that we will receive every day through the BLU. One thing is certain: there will be different options. The aim of the game will not only be to make the right strategic decisions, but also to be able to go fast for a long time, ”added Tanguy Bouroullec. While you will be able to draw on the experience of your first two participations in the regatta, this will not be the case for the vast majority of the fleet, which is preparing to cross the Atlantic for the first time, not without some apprehension. . “Like many, I don’t know what to expect because I don’t know where I’m going. The unknown is also precisely what we have all been looking for. It is a challenge with yourself. Getting to the other side and doing it will be a beautiful thing. Today it is a stronger feeling than that of the athlete. It is a year and a half of a project that can be summarized or at least taken shape ”, says Anne-Claire Le Berre, who thus perfectly sums up the sentiment of almost all of his competitors.