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French skipper wins first stage of Mini Transat - Îles de Guadeloupe yacht race

media Douarnenez, Brittany DR

French skipper Davy Beaudart won of the first stage of the Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe yacht race on Raison, crossing the finish line Saturday at 10:34:46 local time.

It took only six days 19 hours four minutes and 46 seconds for the solo skipper on board Raison, sponsored by the Flexirub company, to sail from Douarnenez in Brittany, western France, to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, at an average speed of 7,63 knots (14,1 km/h).

Beaudart took the lead of the race on 21 September just off Spain's Cape Finisterre.

“This boat surprises me more every day. It really is a great success!” the skipper said upon arrival. “It's well built. Despite being challenging and noisy, it was really good fun to sail. With the wind behind me I got up to 30/40 knots. I wasn't worried about the boat, it was a make-or-break situation!

“I have no regrets about having devoted my nights and weekends to really preparing well, that really helps …It really is a great race!”

For the 20th edition and for the second time, the Mini Transat – Îles de Guadeloupe started from Douarnenez, where it all began. The Breton harbour saw the fleet of 72 solo sailors set off on 19 September to complete stage one of the race.

The second stage will start on 31 October.

It will take the fleet across the Atlantic to finish some three weeks later in Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe.

The 2,700-nautical-mile race from France to the Caribbean is the longest solo race for the smallest of boats, the Mini 6.50.

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