Carlos, after his arrival in Santa Cruz de la Palma

Manera has also been imposed in the category of sailboats with traditional bow

Carlos Manera was the first Spanish sailor to cross the finish line of Santa Cruz de la Palma after 12 days and 50 minutes of solo ocean sailing. Manera, aboard the mini Varador 2000, has also won in the category of boats with a traditional bow. In the general classification of this first stage of the Mini Transat 2021, of 1,350 miles, Manera has managed to place himself in position 28 in the series boats, ahead of other last generation sailboats with a round bow.

Carlos Manera’s performance has been very meritorious, especially considering the adverse weather conditions of the first days of the regatta, which forced him and many other participants to take refuge in various Galician ports for almost two days before the passage of a strong squall with winds of up to 50 knots. According to the athlete, these first days of the regatta were “quite chaotic, since the organization recommended us to go to port for safety reasons and most of us did so, but some continued sailing“. This eventuality has created an anomalous navigation situation “because while some continued advancing, others were in port and at the moment there have been no time compensations“. The organization of the test has not yet resolved the issue, which has led to a claim from the bulk of the fleet.

The ninety participants in the Mini Transat set sail from Les Sables d’Olonne on September 27 to the Canary Island of La Palma. The departure was made a day late because of a cold front that hit French Brittany in those days. The first days of the regatta were very hard, with constant gusts of wind day and night of 20-30 knots and some of up to 50. Then, on the way to Finisterre, the conditions improved and Carlos was able to climb many places, until he was in position 18 of the general. When he was in the best position, he broke a bridge of the mast, which meant spending almost five hours on the mast to repair it and to be able to continue in conditions until reaching the Finisterre traffic separation system. In this area, in addition, the fleet encountered many dolphins and killer whales (some attacked some minis) that made navigation even more difficult.

The Varador 2000 approaching the finish line

After overcoming this area of the Galician coast, the fleet received the aforementioned warning to go to a safe haven in port, due to a very strong cold front approaching. After the break, the organization did not organize another start and each sailor resumed the regatta as best they could. “Those of us who were in Muros agreed to go out together“, explains Manera. From this new “false start“, the second part of the first stage began, with favorable winds that allowed him to climb several positions again until reaching the height of Porto. From this point, the mini de Manera advanced well upwind until Lisbon, with light winds from the stern, until it broke the hardware of the rough deck. This setback caused him a small delay that he recovered after Lisbon thanks to the trade winds, which “placed us on the stage that we had prepared as a downhill regatta“.

The Varador 2000 continued moving southwards, getting close enough to Madeira “to take advantage of the acceleration caused by the wind in this area due to the height of the island”, says Manera, which continued to advance at a good pace for three days with trade winds of stern of 15-20 knots. The last 100 miles of racing were characterized by a “constant and exhausting” fight with Genís Hontoria, whom “I managed to overtake shortly before reaching La Palma”. Carlos Manera is currently in the port of Santa Cruz de la Palma resting and repairing the damage caused by the first stage of the Mini Transat on the boat. According to sources close to the management of Varador 2000, the main sponsor of Manera, “no one like Carlos could represent us better, we are very satisfied and identified with the sporting performance that he is doing, which exceeds all expectations“.

The second stage of the Mini Transat will begin on October 29, covering the route between La Palma and Saint François, on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. The sailors will have to cover a distance of 2,700 miles. Good bow!!

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