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Solo Tom Dolan Retaining Mini-En-Mai Lead (Race Tracker HERE)

10th May 2017
Tom Dolan (bow number 910 in foreground) narrowly leads his class after the first night at sea in the Mini-en-Mai 2017, but still has 329 miles to race with the prospect of flukey winds. Tom Dolan (bow number 910 in foreground) narrowly leads his class after the first night at sea in the Mini-en-Mai 2017, but still has 329 miles to race with the prospect of flukey winds. Photo: Christophe Breschi/Facebook

After their first night at sea, the Mini Transat boats racing the 500-mile Mini-en-Mai race in the eastern sector of the Bay of Biscay have put the navigation challenges of Western Brittany astern, and are well on their way, shaping their course southeast towards the next turn off the mouth of the Gironde Estuary writes W M Nixon

Tom Dolan of Ireland sailing the Pogo 3 Offshoresailing.fr held the lead in his class at 0800 Irish time this morning by a narrow margin, with 329 miles still to race. But it will be at a slower pace – he is now sailing at “only” 8.8 knots - than the speedy first day, when a brisk easterly sent the fleet hurtling northwards from the start/finish port of La Trinite sur mer.

A shallow low pressure area is headed towards Biscay, but if the leaders can manage to get far enough on their way to be south of it, there’s a chance the underlying wind will draw from the southwest. However, with two mini lows approaching ahead of it on its advance fringes, there’s a risk that for a while, conditions could become extremely flukey.

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