Land ahoy but leaders slow down as Mini Transat finish approaches

 For the leaders of the Mini Transat Iles De Guadeloupe, something  has changed. The best part of the race lies in their wake and the land is getting imperceptibly closer. The horizon and the sky are filling with colour, while the trade winds are slowing down. With some of the prototypes just 24 hours away from the finish line, the battle is still going strong: the clear leader, Frederic Denis (Nautipark), has slowed down as the winds ease off. In his wake, they are  attacking from all sides. In the production boats, the battle  between Ian Lipinski (Entreprises Innovantes) and Julien Pulvé (Novintiss) is over: One went south, the other went north … following different paths.

These are the last hours of the race. The very first competitors will enjoy their last sunrise on this Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe. For those chasing Frederic Denis (Nautipark) at the head of the fleet of prototypes for almost 10 days (over 11 days of racing), it’s their last chance Thursday.

In the production boats, the game is back on tonight. There are still two days of racing before a very promising final: we will be in suspense right up to the end. 

Now is the time of change
Everything changes imperceptibly as they approach the coast. On the horizon,  there are sails and cargo boats. In the sky, they see the first frigates, those stylish tropical birds. More than anyhting, the land affects the weather. No more nice steady trade winds. As they get closer to the  Caribbean islands, the land is the grain of sand in the gears of wind creation.

In particular, the  wind speeds of  15 to 20 knots of recent days will turn  into an increasingly unstable  weather system, with winds of 10-15 knots all day and some stormy squalls. In the late afternoon and early evening, the clouds can generate gusts of wind of 30-40 knots with strong wind changes. Therefore, the first sailors of this  Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe need to be tactically and technically vigilant. It is not yet time to give in to the tiredness that they have accumulated during those 11 days and 11 nights of transatlantic racing, or to indulge in a more relaxed routine. The arrival is tomorrow; the change of pace is now. 

A little calculation
In the prototypes, it's a safe bet that Frédéric Denis is putting everything into it: his fists and teeth are clenched. He is the first to go through the calming of the trade winds, with his  speed dropping to 7-8 knots this morning, while those pursuing him continue to attack at 9-10 knots. A little calculation help clarify things: the skipper of Nautipark has a 50 mile lead over the second competitor, the  Italian, Michele Zambelli (Illumia), and he is sailing 1-2 knots slower than his pursuer. His lead will therefore reduce to 1-2 miles per hour. Knowing that, unless there is a major glitch, he should cross the finish line in about 24 hours, and the rest of the competitors will gradually enter into  the relative calm of the West Indies, the hierarchy of the race has little likelihood of  changing. But we never know…. 

To the south, Michele Zambelli (Illumia) and Luke Berry (Association Rêves) are 2nd and 3rd and  to the north, Clément Bouyssou (Le Bon Agent) and Axel Tréhin (Aleph Racing) are pushing things 100% with each of these last miles to improve their chances: the objective for all of them is a podium place, with only three spaces for five boats…  the verdict  will come tomorrow. 

Eight days of  a shared wake
In the production boats, the big news of the day is the separation of Ian Lipinski (Entreprises Innovantes) and Julien Pulvé (Novintiss)! The wakes of the two boat leaders  in the production boats were  joined as one for more than eight days, but last night the man from Lorient  decided to dive south, leaving the man from La Rochelle to  chart his way north. By getting closer to a straight line of attack, Ian Lipinski has taken over the leadership. He is, at mid-day, faster than his former fellow traveller. But, there are still about two days to go, and it is all to play for.  Following 85 miles behind the leaders, Tanguy Le Turquais (Terreal) has been in a solid third place since last Sunday, maintaining a gap between himself and the rest of the peloton.

Waiting for you in Pointe-à-Pitre
At a time when the global importance of biodiversity is essential to humanity as a condition for our future, the Iles de Guadeloupe and Pointe-à-Pitre naturally provide an example of diversity, whether the shores, landscapes, micro climates, vegetation … or even cultures and customs of the islands.
Today, events like the Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe allow the city and the islands to grow further and enrich the heritage; traditional boats from the Sainte, be large or small, will be out toe welcome the Mini’s as they reach the other side of the Atlantic. All kind of watercraft, pleasure boats, jet skis, sailing boats, and even some pri-pris!
This will not be your archetypal welcome, come and welcome the fleet in Pointe-à-Pitre and we will show you what a pri pri is!

Ranking on 12th November at 15:00 (TU+1):
Séries (Ranking Ocean Bio-Actif)
1 Julien Pulvé – 880 – Novintiss: 403 miles from the finish
2 Ian Lipinski – 866 – Entreprises Innovantes: 2.3 miles
3 Tanguy Le Turquais – 835 – Terréal : 83.8 miles
4 Edouard Golbery – 514 – Les Enfants du Canal : 129.1 miles
5 Armand de Jacquelot – 755 – We Van : 145.5 miles 

Prototypes (Ranking Eurovia Cegelec) : 
1 Frédéric Denis – 800 – Nautipark: 142.1 miles from the finish
2 Michele Zambelli – 788 – Illumia : 53.7 miles
3 Luke Berry – 753 – Association Rêves : 68.5 miles
4 Clément Bouyssou – 802 – Le Bon Agent – Bougeons l’Immobilier: 90.7 miles
5 Axel Tréhin – 716 – Aleph Racing : 109.9 miles

Jeanneau SO380
M.O.S.S Australia
NAV at Home
M.O.S.S Australia
Race Yachts