NORTH AMERICAN MINI CLASS – Less then 30 days to go. Mini 650 Pacific Challenge – starts July 6th 2013! For more information CLICK HERE
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A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR – For the first time in the USA, a group of singlehanded sailors from all over thecountry are going to race from California to Hawaii onboard Mini Transat 6.50s – 21-foot ocean capable sailboats that are barely larger than the average suburban vehicle. The 2013 Mini Transpac Race is being organized by the North American Mini 6.50 Class Association and the start is scheduled for July 6th 2013 – less that 150 days from now.
The race currently has 10 entries, including Jerome Sammarcelli, who was the first person to race a Mini Transat 6.50 single handed across the Pacific in last years Single Handed Transpac from San Francisco. This time he will be racing with at least 9 other competitive sailors, all sailing on nearly identical boats, all trying to cross 2,300 nautical miles of Pacific Ocean to reach the finish line first.
There are many different Mini Transat 6.50s, or “Minis” for short, available from various boat builders around the world, but they are all designed to meet a set of strict box rules. The boat cannot be longer than 21.3 feet (6.50 meters) and can’t be wider than 9.84 feet (3 meters). There are also restrictions for mast height, draft, shape of cabin-top, size of companionway, and also safety constraints such as positive flotation, righting moment and escape hatch specifications to name a few. The innovations developed in Mini class, have influenced the entire offshore sailing industry – Open 60s, Volvo 70s, and production cruising boats have all taken a page or two from the Mini playbook.
This race is going to be a real adventure of all those involved. Racing across the Pacific with a crew is challenging enough but now imagine racing offshore singlehanded in a boat this small. For most of these racers the 2013 Mini Transpac Race will be their first singlehanded voyage of this magnitude. Beyond the crossing itself, just getting to the start-line will be no small order. All boats have to meet safety requirements and sailors must prove that they can indeed spend 15-20 days alone at sea by completing a 500nm qualifier. Some of the world’s most notable and legendary offshore sailors including Ellen MacArthur, Sam Davies and Michel Desjoyeaux started their careers by sailing a Mini Transat 6.50 offshore.
The race has already begun and boats are already starting to gather at the start in Marina del Rey. All the sailors are updating equipment, tuning instruments, and logging hours on the water to prepare for the start in July. All of the build up to the race and the race itself will be online at www.minitranspacrace.com .Visit the race website to learn about the sailors who are completing, find out more about the Mini Transat 6.50 boats, and watch the story unfold as the start approaches. The actual race will feature LIVE tracking so you can keep tabs on your favorite sailors, as well as LIVE coverage from the sailors themselves as they experience everything the Pacific Ocean can offer.
MINI TRANSAT – For the first time in the USA, a group of singlehanded sailors from all over the country are going to race from California to Hawaii aboard Mini-Transat boats – 21-foot ocean capable racers that are barely larger than the average suburban vehicle. The Singlehanded Mini Transpac will be held in July of 2013.
“Mini” is short for “Mini Transat 6.50″. Each Mini (there are a variety of different make and models) is designed according to strict box rules. The boat cannot be longer than 21.3 feet (6.50 meters) and can’t be wider than 9.84 feet (3 meters). There are restrictions for mast height, draft, shape of cabin-top, size of companionway, and also safety constraints such as positive flotation, righting moment and escape hatch to name a few.
Mini architects and builders have created boats that are extremely light, fast, powerful yet stable and safe, even in the most extreme offshore conditions. With the innovations developed for this class, these designers have influenced an entire industry. Open 60s, Volvo 70s on down to production cruising boats have all taking a page or two from the Mini playbook.
Racing offshore with a crew is plenty challenging but now imagine racing offshore singlehanded in a boat this small. For most of these racers the Mini Transpac will be their first singlehanded voyage and there’s no doubt the challenge is huge. Beyond the crossing itself, getting to the start-line will be no small order. Boats have to meet safety requirements and sailors must prove that they can indeed spend 15-20 days alone at sea. Each racer will have to sail a 400nm qualifier, this will be no laid back cruise – for most of the entrants it’ll be more like a hike up Mount Everest. Some of the world’s most notable and legendary offshore sailors including Ellen MacArthur, Sam Davies and Michel Desjoyeaux have cut their teeth aboard these tough little vessels.
A website is currently being created for the race that will employ tracking software that will enable the sailing community to be able to watch the battle on the water. The Minis, being very equal in boat speed, gives the Mini Transpac the excitement of an inshore one-design race combined with the jeopardy of a round the world contest.
The race has already begun. Sailors are getting to know each other, boats are being prepared as we speak. A quality offshore boot camp is in the organizational stage in Southern California that will launch this winter. This event is only open to Mini Transat boats that qualify as such.
Once in Hawaii, this will be more than a group of sailors arriving. It will be a tight gathering of friends who would have shared the same emotions, intellectual and physical challenges. And last but not least, another factor to file in the “plus” column is these boats are small enough to be affordable and easily be shipped back to the mainland once the race is through.
If you want to learn more about the Mini Transpac 2013, “Like” the North American Mini Class Facebook page. There will be more information very soon.
Also, as a teaser, enjoy this video of Singlehanded Mini Sailors in Europe, where crossing the oceans on 21 foot boat is a must for all offshore sailors ;-)
Rescue of Renaud Mary’s Mini 650 (No. 535) stranded on a beach north of Salvador de Bahia.
A quick collage of the The 2011 Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50.
David Raison crossed the Mini Transat arrival line at 18 :43 UT; he sailed the 3120 miles long second leg between Madeira and Salvador de Bahia in 17 days, 6 hours and 13 minutes, at an average speed of 7.53 knots. The skipper from Lorient beats the previous record on this course by twenty minutes.
David Raison took the lead soon after the Cape Verde Islands. He sailed superbly and kept the lead since crossing the Doldrums. He crossed the arrival line 130 miles ahead of his direct opponent, Thomas Normand, and 330 miles ahead of the pack.
David’s boat, with her strange looking round nose, has proved to be excellent on this difficult course, and especially when sailing between 60 and 90° from the true wind, where she was simply unbeatable, achieving speeds up to one knot superior to her opponents.
“When I saw that I was ahead of the fleet coming out of the doldrums,” I thought, “this race is for you! Don’t mess it up, don’t fall in the water, don’t break the boat”, said David Raison soon after the arrival. “This boat is fast and exceptional; she helped to compensate some tactical mistakes. Sometimes, I was even slowing down because the boat was banging hard. I slept better last night. I wanted to be in good shape today, I didn’t want to miss the arrival… This was my fourth transatlantic race and my last goal was to finish before nightfall and see Bahia under the sunlight. Tonight I can enjoy a nice big piece of meat in the restaurant; it’s fantastic!”
David’s victory is in line with the history of the Mini Class, who has seen innovations such as canting keels, ballasts or carbon masts, used today on all race boats. Nobody knows yet whether this type of boats will be seen on other, bigger classes in the future; yet one thing is sure: everyone is going to have to think about it.
Photo courtesy of www.maxcomm-media.com.
Jerome Sammarcelli from Open Sailing in Los Angeles – builder of the Pogo 2 Mini Transat boat – conducts an interview with Jean-Marie Oger (and helps translate) before the start of the 2011 Mini Transat. Jean-Marie races on the Pogo 2 #774.
Jerome Sammarcelli, president of Open Sailing in Los Angeles caught up with the sole American Mini Transat sailor Emma Creighton in France before the start for a chat about what’s to come. More than just a fan of the race, Sammarcelli’s company is the builder of the Pogo 2 – the only production mini transat boat built in the USA. It’s worth mentioning that the Pogo 2 is having enormous success in this year’s race.
Below the waterline there’s lots of activity. These dolphins are doing their thing under the hull of a Mini Transat boat. Gotta love GoPro...
Sébastien Rogues, on Eole Generation-GDF SUEZ, has won the first stage of the Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 (overall before jury). He covered 1148 miles at the average speed of 5.40 knots in 8 days 20 hours 46 minutes and 43 seconds.
Part of the Mini Transat sailors fleet will cross the Cape Finisterre tonight. Prototype leader Jorg Riechers was 68 miles of the Spanish foreland at last report. The wind is blowing from the South and the Southwest swell will begin to gradually be felt, as they will sail toward the west. Currently the sky is cloudy and the fleet probably find a few showers. More here.
There’s a project called “Sailing and Mountain”, created by TeamWork Sailing which includes members sailing in the Mini Transat 2011 amongst other pursuits.
The 79 skippers have crossed the start line 1 minute after the liberating gun shot, to pay tribute to Jean-Marc Allaire that should have been on the starting line with them yesterday. This is a look at the harbor before they departed…
Here’s a dose of footage for all the Mini fans out there…
Open Sailing out of Los Angeles are producing the Pogo 2 (Mini Transat boat) and it looks like a sweet ride. Here they are sailing an 81 mile downwind race in the gorgeous Channel Islands of California.