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Port of Galway's Yannick Lemonnier is Lying 12th & Bound for the West Indies in Mini Transat Race

1st November 2021
Port of Galway's Yannick Lemonnier is heading across the Atlantic in the Mini Transat Race
Port of Galway's Yannick Lemonnier is heading across the Atlantic in the Mini Transat Race

As planned, the second leg of the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef kicked off Friday and Ireland's only entry in the solo sailing race is lying 12th in the Proto division.

As reported earlier, Galway Franco-Irish sailmaker Yannick Lemonnier, racing Port of Galway, took 16th place in the Proto Class in the first leg and in the early days of the crossing - and with the Atlantic Ocean ahead of him - he is hoping to improve on that.

Propelled along by a light NE'ly breeze, the 86 participants still competing in the event left Santa Cruz de La Palma bound for Saint-Francois with a hefty 2,700-mile sprint ahead of them as well as a great many unknowns.

Unknowns associated with the exercise itself which, for the vast majority of sailors, will be their transatlantic debut, but also unknowns linked to the weather. Indeed, in addition to the wind shadows created by the Canary Islands, the solo sailors will also have to deal with some lacklustre trade wind and the great many uncertainties caused by this scenario.

Good wishes for Galway Minitransat sailor Yannick LemonnierGood wishes for Galway Minitransat sailor Yannick Lemonnier

As predicted, very light airs (between 4 and 5 knots of NE'ly breeze) set the tone for the start of the second leg of the 23rd edition of the Mini Transat EuroChef this Friday afternoon, offshore of Santa Cruz de La Palma. For the next 24-36 hours then, the solo sailors will have to be patient and opportunistic in their bid to escape the Canaries archipelago.

* This Sunday, whilst making headway offshore of the coast fringing the Western Sahara, the fleet competing in the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef has scattered every which way. Indeed, it now spans over 180 miles in latitude and 130 miles in longitude, evidence that the 84 competitors still out on the racetrack are each sailing their own race. Some of them have clearly placed the emphasis on heading due south where they can rack up good speeds, whilst others are opting for a compromise by zigzagging their way down the Atlantic so as to gradually reposition themselves over to the west. One other, Australian Christiaan Durrant (1015 - Little Rippa), has clearly targeted the shortest route by sticking as closely as possible to the great circle route, which should logically give him pride of place on the leader board in the near future. A position report which, at this stage of the race, doesn't really give a true indication of which competitors are best placed to hook onto favourable conditions going forward.

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