Rich has had a brilliant race so far, from 12th to 1st place in just 24 hours. It has certainly kept everyone at home glues to their computers, anticipating the next Biscay Storm in the "Sea of Certain Death". I am sure it has been one of the harder races for the competitors. Our condolences to our friend Jeff Mcpharlen from the USA who lost his rig early this morning. We have just heard the news (an excited phone call from our aunt in the Caribbean) that the race has been abandoned due to the next front coming in rather fiercely.
The following report sums it all up…
(source http://www.minitransat.fr )
Without doubt the Bay of Biscay wins this year. Although the Mini Transat fleet had eaten up nearly two-thirds of the Bay of Biscay, the grib files are showing a further deterioration in conditions compared to those expected at the time of the start. At 19.00 tonight the Race Director took the decision to cancel the first leg to allow competitors to reach port safely.
Several parameters were involved in the final decision. First was the concern to preserve the security of the slower competitors (who are often also the least experienced), during the course of the morning the Race Director advised those boats who were still a long way from the finish line to proceed south towards the Cantabrian coast and Gijon where conditions should be much more manageable .
In doing so, nearly forty competitors immediately decided to proceed to the Asturian port. Under these conditions the sporting fairness of the leg might be undermined. Moreover, although the leading prototypes were almost assured of reaching Sada before the arrival of bad weather, the situation was much more critical for the group leading the series boats, which were located about 90 miles from the entrance to the Sada estuary at 16.00.
Once all boats are safe in the Cantabrian ports, the organisation will take the most appropriate measures to provide a new start to Lanzarote at the first available opportunity.
The tracker is at: http://www.minitransat.fr/cartographie?lang=en