• Radek Kowalczyk has reached Las Palmas
• A trio leads the way in the series class
• Frederic Denis in prototype widens the gap
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 - Paradoxically the thrill of the Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe lies in a mixture of great joys and severe disappointments and bitter failures. Following the retirement of Davy Beaudart, it is Radek Kowalczyk’s turn to throw in the towel after having to abandon his brand new Calbud.
It is a harsh blow for the Polish sailor. Radek was innovative in his concept of having the prototype be built in series, hoping to encourage new vocations and inspire sailors of less fortunate means to dive into the prototype experience, allowing each to fix and fiddle with his own boat from a common basis. In 2011, Radek completed his first participation in the Mini Transat, on an old prototype, fired by the promise of returning on a much more powerful boat. He had to wait until 2015 to fulfil his dreams, but the adventure will not see completion. The Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe loses a particularly endearing, unassuming sailor.
Back in the game
Time to get back in the race for Sébastien Pébelier (Mademoiselled Iodine). Switching roles from fierce competitor to friendly watchdog to assist with the arrival ashore of Radek’s Class 40 Tauranga, only to have to get racing again before knowing for certain if his friend has been saved. It is not easy to remain focused on getting the best performance from the boat in such emotionally charged situations. Whatever happens, Sébastien Pébelier should be the object of a decision by the Jury, who should concede him a bonus time, the logbook serving as evidence.
For the rest of the fleet, even if it is never nice to have to leave a friend behind, things look brighter. For most, life is now focused on the best route to reach Guadeloupe, weather updates and daily checks around sensitive points, rigging, rudders, sails etc. Although some concerns earth not necessarily disappear. Katrina Ham (katrinahamracing.com) was concerned above all to know the final verdict of the rugby world cup. On hearing of her team’s defeat, the Australian sailor’s sole comment was a brief "cool".
To the right but not too much
As expected, the fleet has started to turn west before reaching the Cape Verde archipelago. However, the skippers are facing a true dilemma. The wind is still stronger in the south and everyone is confronted by the same question: how far are they going to lengthen the route?
In the series ranking, there are three boats sailing boat to boat. Ian Lipinski (Entreprises Innovantes) is still ahead of Benoît Hantzperg (YCA Dhumeaux Secours Populaire) and Julien Pulvé (Novintiss). In fourth position, Tanguy Le Turquais (Terréal) will cross some of the fierce competitors who did very well on the first stage, like Charly Fernbach (Le Fauffiffon Hénaff) or Armand de Jacquelot (We Van), and also some nice surprises like Edwin Thibon (Cœur Fidèle) or Mathieu Bourdais (Tous au Large).
On the prototypes, Frédéric Denis (Nautipark) has widened the gap. He is now 40 miles away from his opponents. Only Jean Baptiste Daramy (Chocolats Paries Corolies Composites) and Simon Koster (Eight Cube) further south seem not to be following in his wake. When the leader makes good choices, it is difficult to make different ones without taking any unnecessary risks. But sometimes it is the price of success.
Ranking 3rd November at 18h (TU+1)
Prototypes (Ranking Eurovia Cegelec)
1 Frédéric Denis – 800 – Nautipark à 2195,2 milles de l’arrivée
2 Jean-Baptiste Daramy – 814 – Chocolats Paries à 41,1 milles
3 Michele Zambelli – 788 - Illumia à 48,9 milles
4 Ludovic Méchin – 667 – Microvitae à 53,2 milles
5 Clément Bouyssou – 802 – Le Bon Agent – Bougeons l’Immobilier à 56,8 milles
Séries (Ranking Ocean Bio-Actif)
1 Ian Lipinski – 866 – Entreprises Innovantes à 2257,9 milles de l’arrivée
2 Benoît Hantzperg – 871 – YCA Dhumeaux Secours Populaire à 7,5 milles
3 Julien Pulvé – 880 - Novintiss à 8,7 milles
4 Tanguy Le Turquais – 835 – Terréal à 45,8 milles
5 Dimitri Simons – 758 - Teamsolo.nlà 54,9 milles