During a normal year, the Mini Transat can accurately be described as one of sailing’s toughest challenges…and that’s with the stopover in the Canary Islands. This year, however, a series of huge storms forced the race organizers to continuously postpone the start for weeks, making it necessary to sail the race in one long leg…alone and aboard a 21-foot, carbon-fiber speed machine that is completely lacking in anything that even resembles a creature comfort.
Benoit Marie approaches the finish line of the Mini Transat 2013
Impressively, French solo sailor Benoit Marie, sailing aboard the Prototype Classe Mini, 'benoitmarie.com', took top honors in the open class, followed by Giancarlo Pedote ('Prysmian') and Remi Fermin ('Boreal') in this windy race. 'This year has been really tough,' reported Marie. 'The wait could be highly demotivating and the more we waited, the harder it was to get into race mode. I really took care never to let it unsettle me. From Sada, we knew we would face strong winds, it was on us almost immediately.'
Benoit Marie sprays the victor’s champaign as he arrives on the dock at the finish of the Mini Transat 2013
Get the full Mini Transat report, inside this issue, and stay tuned to the website as competitors in both the Prototype and Production classes continue to finish this grueling non-stop race.
Also in ocean-racing circles, word has hit the street of a 'new' entrant in the 2014/2015 Volvo Ocean Race, which will be contested aboard the new class of One Design 65-footers. According to reports, Bouwe Bekking will skipper a new Dutch challenge that’s being sponsored by Brunel. Coincidentally, this will be the third VOR rodeo for both Bekking and Brunel, and both skipper and sponsor are hungry for an elusive win.
Bekker will skipper Team Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15
'A Dutch-speaking team in the Volvo Ocean Race again – we owe this to our heritage and the future sailing generations to come,' said Bekking. 'Our nation is known around the world as the country of windmills, dykes, tulips, cheese, wooden clogs – and the Volvo Ocean Race. The race is just in our blood.'
Get the full VOR download, inside.
Glenn Ashby (AUS)will stay with ETNZ for the 35th America’s Cup
In America’s Cup circles, Glen Ashby (AUS) has announced his intention to stay with Emirates Team New Zealand for the 35th America’s Cup, despite an Australian-flagged Challenger of Record. Ashby is now amongst a handful of rock-star afterguard sailors from AC34 who have already announced their team colors for AC35.
Speaking of Australia, the ISAF World Sailing Cup at Melbourne is in full swing, with international racers finding plenty of competition in the talent-studded classes that are sailing in this prominent event. Sail-World’s Rob Kothe and Richard Gladwell are both covering this event so stay tuned to the website for the latest news from this regatta, as it unfurls.
Teams One DLL and Derry-Londonderry-Daire of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race during the start of race 5 in King George Sound, Albany, Western Australia on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. (AAP Image for Clipper Round the World Race/Paul Kane) NO ARCHIVING
Also inside, get the latest news from the Clipper Round the World Race, the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge and the Krys Ocean Race.
Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen win the first race of the 49er class ISAF World Sailling Cup Melbourne, day 2
And finally, be sure to spend some time checking out Richard Gladwell’s great image gallery from Sail Melbourne. Enjoy!
May the four winds blow you safely home,