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Festival of Sails 2017

Mini Transat - A journey of discovery

by Solene Rennuit on 12 Dec 2013
2013 Mini Transat ©Jacques Vapillon / Mini Transat 2013
In the Mini Transat, with the successive arrivals on the pontoons of Pointe-à-Pitre, one thing is clear. Although all competitors have crossed the same ocean, each of them has experienced a unique Mini Transat.

Among those who came to perform and those who wanted a human adventure, those who have found what they expected and those who have discovered something else, every single handed who arrives has his own story to tell.

For some, the issue was clear. They came to win, and the sting of competition was their driver and their crutch in moments of doubt, but one that could potentially generate the greatest stress. We think particularly of the winners of this exceptional Mini Transat, Benoît Marie (benoitmarie.com) and Aymeric Belloir (Tout le Monde chante contre le Cancer) but also of credible podium candidates such as Justine Mettraux (TeamWork) or Simon Koster (Go 4 It). Some have seen their ambitions grow as they progress : the most striking examples are undoubtedly those of Rémi Fermin (Boreal) who few observers credited with potential, but who has taken up the fight for victory gamely, or Bruno Garcia, who was able to lead his venerable Sampaquita to a beautiful fifth place in the prototypes. Others managed to regroup after a disappointing position at the Canary Islands, including Renaud Mary (www.runo.fr) and even Julien Pulvé (MEXT -ICA) and Nicolas Boidevezi (Nature Addicts ). But for all of them, it is the performance that counts ...

Others knew that beyond the results, the Mini Transat is an appointment with yourself, an internal adventure that one must complete. This was demonstrated loud and clear as we saw serenity bloom for Yoann Tricault (Schlüter Systems), who was initiated as a solo racer two years ago and experienced a mixture of envy and deep visceral panic for fear of not being up to par. The same happiness, to have played a good round by thwarting all predictions, could read in every word of Florian Mausy (Foksaglisse), who did not expect to be invited to such a party. Some had already experienced this personal journey, but needed confirmation to be sure that they were in tune with themselves. Britain's Pip Hare (The Potting Shed ) was pleased to find that her efforts to drive hard have not been in vain, while Robert Rosen Jacobson (Postillion Hotels), pointed out that age has no bearing on his motivation.

Finally, there are those for whom the Mini Transat has not been up to their expectations. First to come to mind is Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) who had staked everything on victory. It was the same for Jonas Gerkens (Netwerk 2) who hoped to confirm his title of Vice-Champion of France in offshore racing. For others disappointment is more measured, such as Bertrand Delesne (TeamWork Proto) who saw his dreams of victory fly out of the window thanks to a defective fuel cell. A strong, tough guy, Bertrand admitted that this race had left him searching for previously unknown resources within himself. Without being too disappointed, others, such as Louis Segre (Roll my Chicken), have been consoled by knowing that they are not too far off past performances. But ultimately, all realise how this Mini Transat has proved demanding, harsh, wearing for both men and machines. Simply to have arrived safely is a victory.

Today there are 13 boats still at sea and the final competitors are expected to arrive over the weekend. The full rankings are available here.
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