Shortly before the planned start of stage 2 still at the crane: Whomper.
Unfortunately ends the Mini Transat for me on La Palma.
During a last dive, 24 hours before the start, to clean the underwater hull of my boat, we noticed an unusual lowering of the keel bulb (300kg of lead at the bottom of the keel). The boat was immediately craned out of the water and we found that the keel bulb could be moved to the rest of the keel. In exchange with the Italian shipyard and the designer of the new keel (the keel was not installed until April 2021), we made the best possible repair in the short time. By the morning of the launch day, the repair was well-dried. Unfortunately, however, the keel bulb could still be moved, albeit less than before the repair.
With the risk of losing the keel bulb and, in the event of a subsequent capsize, the entire boat, putting myself and possible rescuers in danger in the middle of the Atlantic, I decided not to start the second leg.
The possibility to make a maximum three-day repair stop on La Palma after the start in order to start a new repair attempt was rejected. Since the cause of the loose keel bulb could not be found, we felt we could not do a better repair here on site.
I am very disappointed not to be able to finish this Mini Transat, especially after the new rudder fittings and repaired rudders arrived two days before the start and everything worked smoothly. This is certainly not the project ending I envisioned. Sailing is a technical sport and some things unfortunately cannot be predicted despite meticulous preparation. I am now on my way home and will also organize the transport of my boat back to the mainland as soon as possible.
And how it goes from there will be found….
Thank you very much for all your support and your messages!