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To arrive from Gijon into the port of Sada in Galicia, Northwest of Spain, the problems which had to be faced, continued.

 

Nearly one months after the official planned start of the Transat 2013 (was October 13 from Douarnenez, France) we have still not yet left Europe. It is impossible for us to safely pass Cabo Finisterre as the dangerous Northwest corner of Spain is been battered by southerly winds with steady 30 knots and more. Leaving anyhow not sufficient weatherwindow to let pass the whole fleet of raceyachts from first to last to Southern latitudes where winds will get less aggressive and dangerous for our boats. And where is also more safe leeway……

 

Also the start of Jacques Vabre Race from Le Havre has been postponed for Class 40. The open 60-íes have left in the mean time.

 

The depressions and the amount of hurricanes (30 year ago 1, now 25 per year) on the Atlantic give us the real experience and confrontation of the real effects for us of a climat change.

 

From Gijon to Cabo Ortegal and further to Sada was all upwind. 30 Nautical Miles from Ortegal 40 knots of wind was expected as had been VHF'd to us by a bateau accompagnateur. As it was dark, charts of possible ports were not in sufficient detail on board available and the confusion on the VHF was maximum, I decided to find safety away from shore in the open sea. The message of Denis (Directeur Course), viavia received, was: "you can continue but try to find a little shelter by staying close to the coast". The waves were 3,5 to 5 meter high. The wind changed between 25 to 40 knots. As I was sailing with storm jib and 2 reefs in mainsail, 40 knots was good for this sailset, but 25 was not good, as the boat was than to flat on the water when he fell off a wave. I did regularly my sleeps and watchkeeping, evading many fisherman with flashing orange ambulance lights on the water. And tacking every hour to stay as close as possible to shore. Fortunate the wind came from SSW, from shore, giving some windprotection and less waves close to the shoreline. At 1500 hrs thursday afternoon I was zodiaced and moored in the Marina of Sada, welcomed on the pontoon by Maud, Douarnenez Courses, Gian Carlo Pedotte and Bertrand Delesne, the latter both protosailors, already waiting one week in Sada. I arrived as first boat in Sada! Unbelievable as I saw on the AIS several competitors 6 Nautical Miles in front of me before Cap Ortegal. The second serie boat came into port only about 7 hours later!

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At this moment we are instructed to be in racemode Tuesday November 12 at 1300 hrs. Meaning an expected start that afternoon. One month after the planned 13th of October start from Douarnenez, Brittany, France. 

 

The Transat 2013 parcours has been changed: from Sada non-stop to Guadeloupe, via a gate at Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Total length 3700 Nautical Miles. Never has a Transat race been so long. 2013, an absolute historic Transat year.