Mini Transat Update: Velikić 27th, Kabalin Forced to Abandon

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by Nikolina Demark,

Continuing our coverage of the Mini Transat 6.50 regatta, the latest update on two Croatian participants on November 16, 2017

In our last update on the transatlantic solo regatta that’s currently in its second leg, we reported both Vedran Kabalin and Dado Velikić had safely arrived at Las Palmas at the end of the first leg. Kabalin placed 17th, whereas Velikić experienced technical malfunctions and had to stop in Porto along the way, arriving at Las Palmas second to last. They both departed for the second part of their challenging journey on November 1.

However, as the saying goes, luck is a fickle mistress, and tables have turned when it comes to our two sailing Croats. While Velikić is currently holding the 27th place, Kabalin’s fate suddenly turned for the worse. According to Mini Transat official website, the mast of Kabalin’s boat Eloa broke on November 12, making the sailor send out a call for help. The closest vessel at that point was located 300 nautical miles away, so the unfortunate contender had to wait 48 hours to get help, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. On November 15, the boat Pierre de Lune finally reached Kabalin’s location and picked him up. As the mast was broken beyond repair, Kabalin decided to drop out of the race.

It’s hard to imagine how devastating it must have been to give up at this point, as it would have taken only a couple more days for most contenders to reach the finish line at La Martinique. After two years it has taken him to qualify for the Mini Transat, raise funds and complete the exhausting process of physical and psychological preparations, Vedran had to give up on his dream – and so close to the finish line. We congratulate him on all his hard work so far – the Atlantic will wait for him in case he decides to give it another go in the future.

You can follow the progress of all the participants on this interactive map.

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