• The ETA becomes clearer : probable arrival during the day on the 12th November
• A new time reference for an Atlantic crossing is in sight
• Trade winds remain steady
It’s almost certain: trade winds should accompany the Minis up until their arrival in Pointe-à-Pitre. Certainly, the fleet won’t ease up on the way to Guadeloupe. There is no longer much difference in speeds between north and south, and everyone is moving at a good pace towards the finish line. In the prototypes, Frédéric Denis (Nautipark) holds the lead, while in the series boats, Julien Pulvé (Novintiss) comes up, for the first time in the race, to snatch the lead position from Ian Lipinski (Entreprises Innovantes). On the other side of the Atlantic, François Jambou (Concevoir et Construire) has started off again.
No Sunday rest for the Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe : the die has been cast. The leaders continue to charge at breakneck speed towards the finish line and it looks as if nothing will stop the stampede to Guadeloupe. According to the tally at 15 :00 pm, Frédéric Denis registered a speed of 13.1 knots, while in the Series, Julien Pulvé, not content with taking the lead in the race, also set a new distance record for 24 hours in a series boat, covering 277,54 miles. He breaks the record set by Xavier Macaire in 2010 in the Les Sables – Les Açores race, and shows the 4th best performance for a newcomer in this 2015 edition.
The competition smokes in the bows, washes through the cockpits, heats up the hulls. After the departure from Lanzerote, the leaders have kept an average speed of 11 knots. At those speeds, vital functions are reduced to the indispensible ones : diving into the cabin to grab some critical food, taking advantage of a slightly calmer sea to have a siesta, take stock, or look at a weather report. Everything superfluous is forgotten about, as shown in the reduced contact with the accompanying boats. When there is good weather, and there’s time to bask in the sun, the VHF radios become an ideal substitute. But when the boats are surfing along without respite, when they oscillate endlessly between thrilling speeds and the little internal voice warning them of the limits that they shouldn’t pass, chatting with friends is forgotten.
Everyone in their place
For the first time since the start, the men in the north have reached speeds that can compete with those on the southern route. Chris Lükerman (CA Technologies) finally went above 10 knots and Fidel Turienzo (Satanas) a big fan of the northern route, has found a speed worthy of his ambitions. But despite everything, the spanish sailor is still more than 350 miles behind the leaders of the fleet. Little by little, the lateral gaps will get smaller, and the big strategic options will narrow down to small final adjustments to timing as they approach the islands. At the same time, a hierarchy is emerging, which gradually puts the stronger men at the head of the group. The imposing rhythm and strategic certainty doesn’t leave much space for unlikely surprises.
At Cape Verde, François Jambou has not lagged behind. As soon as the repairs on his rudder fittings were carried out, the skipper from Concevoir et Construire took to the sea.The calm seas of the Cape Verdian archipelago witnessed his determination.
Positions on 8th November at 15 :00pm (TU+1)
Prototypes (Class: Eurovia Cegelec) :
1 Frédéric Denis – 800 – Nautipark at 993.6 miles from the finish line
2 Ludovic Méchin – 667 – Microvitae at 34.0 miles
3 Axel Tréhin – 716 – Aleph Racing at 38.6 miles
4 Clément Bouyssou – 802 – Le Bon Agent – Bougeons l’Immobilier at 43.1
5 Michele Zambelli – 788 - Illumia at 47.3 miles
Series (Class: Ocean Bio-Actif)
1 Julien Pulvé – 880 – Novintiss : 1149.9 miles from the finish line
2 Ian Lipinski – 866 – Entreprises Innovantes : 2.2 miles
3 Tanguy Le Turquais – 835 – Terréal : 81.1 miles
4 Edouard Golbery – 514 – Les Enfants du Canal : 83 miles
5 Edwin Thibon – 721 – Cœur Fidèle : 98.1 miles