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Mini-Transat La Boulangere - First the sea sickness

The first 24 hours are now in the wake of the Mini-Transat La Boulangère fleet. Enemy number one for some at the moment is sea sickness. Rousseau Clôtures - Erwan Le MenéClick - image for a larger image

At Sunday’s audio session, certain sailors admitted feeling a little under the weather, including Julien Bozzolo (Mariolle.fr), François Denis (So-Boat.com) and Arnaud Etchandy (Ipar Hego).

They’re surely not alone in this, but at the front of the fleet the leaders are already being careful not to disclose any signs of weakness as tradition dictates.

The first hours of racing can also have their share of nasty surprises. Contrary to professional skippers, a Mini sailor rarely has a dedicated ‘préparateur’ or shore crew.

Julien Héreu (Poema Insurance) has been trying to resolve an issue with his generator, whilst Marc Miro (Alfin) has reported difficulties getting his AIS to work.

Meantime, Irish skipper Thomas Dolan (Offshoresailing.fr) has had to retrace his steps after realising that he’d failed to respect the course marks at the coastal course gate.

Italian Matteo Rusticali (Spot), who set sail at the helm of the oldest boat in the race, built for the Mini-Transat 1991, has sadly dismasted.

For now, the remainder of the fleet is trying to contend with a system of prevailing westerlies. All in all, everyone had opted to sail on starboard tack taking them towards Cape Ortegal.

With the wind kicking back in from the west, the first choices will have to made: continue along on the same tack or make headway to the north?

The weather forecasts are announcing the arrival of a front via the north-west, which should generate some north-easterly wind off its back.

By continuing on their tack, the sailors may be in with a chance of closing on the tip of Spain and reaping the benefits of a wind that will ultimately provide everyone with downwind conditions.

By making headway to the north, it should be possible to anticipate the arrival of the front to ensure they’re first to benefit from the wind shift.

At the head of the fleet, the skippers appear to have opted for the second solution, with the exception of Romain Bolzinger (Spicee.com).

Leading the march, Erwan le Mené (Rousseau Clôtures) once more has the edge over Ian Lipinski (Griffon.fr) but there is little separating them.

Behind the leaders, three sailors are managing to keep pace: Aurélien Poisson (TeamWork), who has really been on his game since the start of the race, Jorg Riechers (Lilienthal) and Charlotte Méry (Optigestion – Femmes de Bretagne).

Among the production boats, Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry), is just two tenths of a mile in front of Rémi Aubrun (Alternative Sailing – Constructions du Belon) with Valentin Gauthier (Shaman – Banque du Léman) completing the current podium.

Mini-Transat Ranking at 06:00 UTC Tuesday

- 1 Ian Lipinski – Griffon.fr – some 1,129 miles from the finish
- 2 Erwan le Mené – Rousseau Clôtures – 3.4 miles behind the leader
- 3 Jörg Riechers – Lilienthal – 6.8 miles behind the leader
- 4 Romain Bolzinger – Spicce.com – 7.3 miles behind the leader
- 5 Kéni Piperol - Région Guadeloupe - 9.9 miles behind the leader
- 6 Aurélien Poisson – TeamWork – 11.3 miles behind the leader

Production boats
- 1 Erwan Le Draoulec – Emile Henry – some 1138 miles from the finish
- 2 Rémi Aubrun – Alternative Sailing – Constructions du Belon – 1.6 miles behind the leader
- 3 Clarisse Crémer – TBS – 1.7 miles behind the leader
- 4 Valentin Gauthier – Shaman – Banque du Léman – 2.8 miles behind the leader
- 5 Ambrogio Beccaria - Alla Grande Ambeco - 3.8 miles behind the leader
- 6 Guillaume Combescuree – Mini Oiri – 4.7 miles behind the leader

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