The Mini Transat is a roughly 4000-mile course that comprises two legs— Les Sables D’Olonne, France to Santa Cruz de La Palma in the Canaries, and Santa Cruz de La Palma to the French Caribbean island Guadeloupe. Two fleets of Mini 6.50s compete—the Production class in pre-approved designs and the Prototype class, which allows design innovation and testing systems that may make their way up to bigger race boats.
Three days ago, the Prototype class was treated to an excitingly close finish. After seven days at sea, Tanguy Bouroullec (Tollec MP/Pogo), Fabio Muzzolini (Tartine Sans Beurre) and Pierre Le Roy (Teamwork) all finished the leg with just over an hour separating them. The three podium finishers plus 4th place Irina Gracheva (Path) slipped below a high-pressure line, allowing them to pull well ahead of the rest of the fleet. “We knew it’d be a decisive passage, but we didn’t expect the door to slam shut like that just behind us. We were lucky there,” said Bouroullec.
This morning, German skipper Melwin Fink (Signforcom) of the Production class joined the four Prototype skippers in Santa Cruz de La Palma, winning the leg for his class. Nine sailors from the Prototype class and 62 sailors from the Production class (two have abandoned) remain on the course.
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