La Charente-Maritime Bahia Transat 6.50 Leg 2 - Stage is set

La Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 2011 - Leg 1 start
© Jean-Michel Rieupeyrout
On Thursday the 13th of October at 1:30 p.m local time the start of the second stage of La Charente-Maritime Bahia Transat 6.50, between Funchal (Madeira, Portugal) and Salvador (Bahia-Brazil), will begin.

3,130 miles or 5,797 km of navigation will lead the 77 competitors from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere. An interesting and difficult route with the crossing of the Canary Islands and Cape Verde, the Doldrums and navigation along the coast of Brazil to Salvador in the State of Bahia.


Analysis of the second stage by Denis Hugues – Race Director:
'The second stage takes the yachtsmen into the southern hemisphere. They’ll head down towards the Canaries, where they won’t be required to pick up any proof of passage. There’ll be a few opportunities to get ahead of the game between the islands of the archipelago, where the winds often pick up speed. But they’ll have to watch out for the significant becalming effect caused by the mountainous terrain on some islands (Tenerife, whose highest point stands at 3700 metres, creates a becalming effect for up to 30 nautical miles).

'The competitors will then find themselves following the trade winds to Cape Verde, where the Minis’ position as they sail through the archipelago will decide which direction they take to go through the famous Doldrums. The marker point is still between Maio, the easternmost island in the archipelago, and San Antao, the westernmost. This course mark will enable the fleet to group together for safety reasons. They’ll then have to position themselves as well as possible to approach the Doldrums, the inter-tropical convergence zone where the winds from the northern hemisphere meet those of the southern hemisphere. It’s a particularly tricky buffer zone where the boats can be without wind for hours and then suddenly get caught up in a 50-knot squall! You therefore need to be on your toes the whole time to make sure you get out of the area as fast as possible. Some competitors may be caught out on the way through, and there may be a few surprises.

'Once across the Equator, and having made the traditional offering to Neptune (sailors’ tradition oblige), the competitors will pick up the southeast trade wind that will take them to Salvador de Bahia. The ideal route is to go as far west as possible on the Equator and the Doldrums and emerge as far to the east as possible: a Kafkaesque situation, as the dominant winds in the southern hemisphere will be east and south-east! In 2003, there were a number of surprises three days from the finishing line. Some of the favourites lost their masts as a result of a stationary front over Salvador de Bahia that created a very strong swell … Nothing is every finished! Obviously, all the competitors, from first to last, will be awaited with the same eagerness on the jetties of Salvador de Bahia!'

Weather trends… by Météo Consult.
The presence of depression from Morocco to Guinea will lead to the development of unstable current sector NNE in the direction of Canaries. These depressions will stop the evolution of high near Azores. Low to moderate, wind will be strengthened between the Canaries and Cape Verde. This will promote the speed and will force competitors to many gybes. They should however be very careful because it will remain conducive to the development of thunderstorms.

Thursday, October 13, 2011
Low flows slightly unstable NNE force 3 up towards the open sea. Sunny weather. The wind strengthens to 4 Beaufort at night.

Friday, October 14, 2011
The wind becomes more organized sector NNE 4 Beaufort. The air mass becomes unstable to the NW of the Canary Islands. This increases risks of storms.

Saturday 15 and Sunday October 16, 2011?
With the approach of the Canary Islands on Saturday, may be wind turn to NE. With The passage of the Canaries, the instability is growing. The air becomes very unstable south of the Canaries. The risk of thunderstorms and strong gusts becomes higher in the afternoon and at night. If wind conditions remain through next Sunday, the air mass could become very unstable with strong thunderstorms and severe squalls.

Trend for next week
Persistence of the NNE moderate winds for the start of week with strength near Cape Verde. The instability will decrease.

Bertrand Delesne (754 - Zone Large): 'I want to show what I can do on this second stage and I have nothing to lose, so...'

Nicolas Boidevezi (719 - Défi GDE), who, even if he is 'aware of the quality of the fleet does not want to let go and wants to make the difference.'

Sébastien Rogues (716 - Eole Generation - GDF SUEZ) winner of the first leg (prototypes category) and Benoît Mariette (599 - Odalys Vacances), winner for series: 'I make a fresh start. I know I won this first stage and that is forever, that's all I know. Now the race starts again and I will hold on.' Sébastien says. 'I will have to hold on and navigate as well as I did in the first leg: clean, careful, hardworking.' Benoit conceded since his arrival in Funchal.

Facts:

Prototypes: 28 minutes between Sébastien Rogues and David Raison (747 - TeamWork Evolution) and 1 hour 32 minutes between Sébastien and Jorg Riechers (753 - Mare.de).

There are 20 prototypes all within in 12 hours of each other.

In the Series - Benoit is 51 minutes ahead of Clement Bouyssou (514 - Douet Distribution) and 1 hour 28 minutes ahead of Davy Beaudart (Innovea Environnement).

There are 16 boats all within 12 hours of each other.

Nothing is definitive - in either category - with more than 3,100 miles to left cross!

http://www.charentemaritime-bahia.transat650.net