Campaigning Mini Transat, American Joins the Hunt

News brief, 5/7/07

NBBurkhalter

Www.teamacadia.org

In the midst of campaigning his Mini Transat 6.5 meter Acadia, Connecticut native Clay Burkhalter is currently racing in the Pornichet Select, a 300-mile race that begins and ends in Pornichet, France. The event is one of six distance races the solo sailor will enter in preparation for the 2007 Mini Transat, which starts in La Rochelle, France, on September 16. Here is the latest report from Burhalter's shore crew, Team Acadia:"70 Minis were on the starting line yesterday, Saturday, May 5th for the 300 mile Pornichet Select Race. This is the second event of the series leading up to the Transat on September 16th. It is a very tactical race with multiple buoy roundings and two islands that will be rounded more than once. (see the chart) Clay told us that he had 8 marks to round in the first 15 miles of the race with the current running 2-3 knots through this area. Boat handling ability will be key. The conditions so far in the race have been relatively light with winds around 8-12 knots and seas in the three foot range. (Much better than the 13 foot plus seas they sailed in for two days last week.) Visability was not good on Saturday night with quite a bit of fog surrounding the islands. But so far, so good!"As of Sunday around noon, Clay is in 6th place, minutes from 4th place and less than one hour from the leader. Anything can happen in a race like this, so stay tuned for the next couple of days. Team Acadia has the race center up and running at www.teamacadia.org and there is a guy following the fleet in a spectator boat (he is a reporter for L'Express) who is blogging live from the race course. You can reach his report by going to the position button in the race center or by going directly to . He reports on the positions of the top boats much sooner than the race committee so you can see how Clay is doing even if you don't read French."