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Mini Transat - The culmination of a long process

by Solene Rennuit on 21 Sep 2013
Mini Transat 2013 © Jacques Vapillon / Mini Transat http://www.minitransat.fr
Making the Mini Transat is not just about setting sail from the port of Douarnenez and a month and a half later docking at the marina in Pointe-à- Pitre. It requires an approach of great preparedness and toughness. In short! To do the Mini you have to really want it.

To make the start of the Mini Transat you must have already met all the qualification procedures: for those who compete for the first time, this will be a qualification course of 1000 miles, as well as 1000 miles solo and racing. It takes time, commitment, and most entrants have now been preparing for two years.

Of the 84 solo sailors that will start from Douarnenez , there are a tiny minority who have solid enough financial partnerships to devote themselves full time to their preparation and have no financial worries. However, even for these privileged competitors, participating in the Mini Transat is not about making a fortune. But for the vast majority the projects are funded on a shoestring, requiring resourcefulness, loans from friends and family and a charm offensive with their bankers. It is not uncommon for sailors to still be paying for the Mini Transat several years after they finish. But sometimes to take a risk and throw caution to the wind is beneficial for one’s mental health.

For now, the 84 candidates for adventure are spending much of their time putting the finishing touches to their machines: ensuring their hulls are in perfect condition, making final checks on all equipment, rigging, sails. In each edition, competitors in the Mini Transat arrive at the start better prepared. Gone is the time when they were still drilling and riveting and scrambling to make a final modification or addition in the final hours before the start.

More importantly, all the soloists of the Mini Transat increasingly tend to follow the example of the professionals: joint training sessions, carefully planned technical development, full physical preparation. A number of the sailors work in conjunction with specialist medical teams to try to better understand their sleep patterns, learning to manage and optimize their opportunities for recovery. Jogging, fitness, a healthy lifestyle become more rigorous and are now regarded as necessary elements. But do not worry: the Mini Transat retains its unique character. There will always be a helping hand for a last minute competitor behind in their preparation, these extraordinary individuals who stubbornly defend that any sailing session in great winds is worth the gallons of sweat lost in their preparations, who celebrate equally the achievements of those completing each stage of the race regardless of their finishing position ... the wealth of a world comes from its diversity.

The course 2013: returns to its origins

Leg 1 - Douarnenez to Puerto Calero (Lanzarote): 1257 miles.
Leg 2 - Puerto Calero to Pointe-à-Pitre: 2764 miles.

Dates

Prologue 'Tout commence en Finistère' October 6, 2013.

Start from Douarnenez October 13, 2013 at 13h. Arrival in the Canary Islands between 23 and 26 October 2013.
Start from Canary Islands November 9, 2013. Arrival in Guadeloupe between 23 and 30 November 2013.

Douarnenez Courses: organizer of the Mini Transat 2013 and 2015

All associations have mobilized Douarnenez with the support of local and regional authorities under the aegis of Douarnenez Courses: the yacht clubs, Douarnenez and Société des Régates de Douarnenez, the Winches club organizers for many years of Mini races with the Mini Fastnet and Trophy Marie-Agnès Péron as torchbearers, but also the association of the Fêtes Maritimes, the Atlantic Yacht Club, the Fédération Maritime and others who are preparing for fifteen days prior to departure, a festival celebrating the sea and the sailors. Competitors will be welcomed into the Port-Rhu a real jewel in the heart of the Mini Transat website
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