The situation is becoming clearer for the 87 sailors in the Mini-Transat La Boulangère. The first leg (La Rochelle/Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) will kick off late in the day on Saturday or around the same time on Sunday. Race Management is reserving the opportunity to put in place some waypoints to avoid the worst of the conditions in the Bay of Biscay. The definitive start date should be finalised at midday tomorrow.
“A weather window is opening up and we’re keen to snap it up. Unless the situation deteriorates significantly, we’ll start the race on either Saturday evening or Sunday evening,” explains Denis Hugues, Race Director.
A front is set to sweep the Bay of Biscay overnight on Saturday and through into Sunday and it is the assessment regarding the evolution of the trajectory that will guide the definitive choice of start date.
“If the race sets off on Saturday, we’ll reserve the possibility of setting waypoints to the North of Spain to ‘bring the competitors down’ and avoid the most boisterous conditions. If the race starts on Sunday, conditions will be more sustained in the bay of La Rochelle, but the front will have rolled through the Bay of Biscay so there won’t be any need for a waypoint.”
The Race Director and the organisers will naturally continue to closely monitor how the situation evolves with Christian Dumard, the Mini-Transat La Boulangère’s meteorologist. The exact day and time of the start should be announced at around noon tomorrow.
Concern raised regarding Tropical Storm Lorenzo
Whether the race starts on Saturday or Sunday, the sailors will have to negotiate another front rolling through on Tuesday.
“However, it’ll be less active with less violent gusts and waves and hence more manageable conditions,” explains Denis Hugues. With regards to Tropical Storm Lorenzo, all the weather models are in agreement about it climbing northwards. As such, concern has been raised about the course of the first leg of the Mini-Transat La Boulangère.