Big wind forecast, with effects from Hurricane Fabian in the North Atlantic, has forced the postponement of the start of the Mini Transat
Big wind forecast, with effects from Hurricane Fabian in the North Atlantic, has forced the postponement of the start of the Mini Transat race. As dawn broke this morning in La Rochelle the race organisers and Mini Transat class officials were behind closed doors in a meeting to decide whether the race should go ahead later today. At 1000 local time, an announcement was made postponing the start until Tuesday.
Despite the obvious disappointment for the 70 competitors poised to head out to sea later this afternoon, there was an air of relief and a big cheer when the news was finally announced.
Chatting to Arsene Ledertheil, who last sailed the race in 1987, and who’s this year sailing a 12-year-old Foucaut 89 design Proto, he believes the race organisers made the right decision, commenting: “I think it’s a good decision because the boats are very small compared to the big waves predicted. It is worthless to play big Rambo on the sea, particularly knowing what happened with loss of life four years ago on this race.”
Christophe Vieux, General Manager of the race organisers GPO, added: “The most important thing for us, as organisers, is safety. The forecast for tomorrow night until Tuesday is for strong winds of more than 40kts and waves reaching six metres. We also had to consider the fact that the boats will close to the coast and not an ideal position to be in if things go wrong. After Tuesday, once the bad weather has passed through, we have good conditions. Hurricane Fabian in the North Atlantic has had an effect creating big waves and unsettled conditions.”
Waiting for the wind to abate and shift round to the north-west also means that instead of setting off in to a south-westerly bang on the nose, competitors will be able to enjoy a bit of a sleigh ride across the Bay of Biscay towards Lanzarote – the end of the first leg.
The race will now start on Tuesday at 1700.