In cruising terms, conditions could best be described as relaxing – sunny climes, seas becoming increasingly calm, light to moderate breeze, perfect conditions for idling about, however, the distinctive feature of offshore racers is that they always want to go faster – at the risk of sacrificing some of the fun element.
Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) is continuing to resist the attacks from those in hot pursuit. Despite conditions which don’t really favour his type of hull, he’s managing to hold onto the advantage he has so masterfully racked up over his direct rivals in what is a true sign of the strength of this firm favourite in this 2017 edition.
In the space of two years, Ian has learnt to be completely at one with his machine, erasing any weaknesses along the way. All that’s left are assets, which he knows just how to make the most of the moment conditions allow.
It is no insult to Jörg Riechers (Lilienthal) to make the observation that his prototype still has some room for improvement; after all it is just three months since she was launched. However, we can certainly count on the German sailor to progress in leaps and bounds.
In the production boat category, Clarisse Crémer (TBS) is reminding one and all that she is a force to be reckoned with and like Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis Cerfrance) she is right on the pace of the race.
The option to the west has paid off and now it will be important to contain the horde of pursuers. From Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry) to the Swiss sailor Valentin Gauthier (Shaman- Banque du Léman) and to Rémi Aubrun (Alternative Sailing – Constructions du Belon), everyone is very much in contention for victory.
In these light airs, we’ll also have to reckon on a possible comeback by the Pogo 2s. One thing for sure: they’ll have to be patient, not let down their guard, constantly monitor the trim and be able to take the helm whenever the autopilot isn’t performing on point… The light airs can become exhausting at times.
A whole team has landed on the pontoons in La Coruña to come and assist Julien Mizrachi (UNAPEI) and Fred Guérin (Les-amis.fun). A fully equipped mast is on the menu for the former, transported via a trailer on the back of a lorry, along with lamination material and a few seasoned specialists.
The Mini solidarity has pulled it out of the bag once again. Meantime Fred Guérin knows that he’ll be outside the time limit to officially head back onto the racetrack, but his Holy Grail lies elsewhere.
At 62 years of age, he has a fourth Mini-Transat to complete and it’s out of the question not to get back out there. He may not be able to be ranked, but we can bet that his arrival will be celebrated just as warmly as all the others, if not better. The Mini-Transat relishes a great story…
Ranking at 15:00 UTC
– 1 Ian Lipinski – Griffon.fr – 51.2 miles to the finish
– 2 Arthur Léopold-Léger – Antal XPO – 12.8 miles behind the leader
– 3 Romain Bolzinger – Spicee.com sa – 42.8 miles behind the leader
– 4 Simon Koster –Eight Cube Ser- 56.6 miles behind the leader
– 5 Aurélien Poisson – TeamWork – 69.4 miles behind the leader
– 1 Clarisse Crémer – TBS 589.8 miles to the finish
– 2 Tanguy Bouroullec – CERFRANCE – Kerhis – 1.8 miles behind the leader
– 3 Erwan Le Draoulec – Emile Henry – 3.9 miles behind the leader
– 4 Valentin Gautier – Shaman – Banque du Léman – 12.7 miles behind the leader
– 5 Rémi Aubrun – Alternative Sailing – Constructions du Belon – 13.8 miles behind the leader