Please select your home edition
Edition
Newport Boat Show 728x90

Mini Transat -The ultimate test of a sailor?

by Katrina Ham on 18 Feb 2013
Racing double handed in 2012 Katrina Ham
Extreme, challenging and mad are often used, but however you describe it, the Mini Transat is considered one of the most demanding yacht races in the world. In 2013, eighty-four sailors will set sail from Douarnenez, France in their 21ft (6.5m) yachts (their home for the next 30 days).

They will race solo across the Atlantic to the island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, with a stopover in the Canary Islands. The boats have no luxuries what so ever: no toilet, no bunk, and no galley. Class rules ban the use of computers, including mapping GPS, and all communication is done via VHF. With no communication with the outside world and no crewmates to talk to, the mental challenges are as tough as the physical ones, which is why I want to race it.

Growing up in Brisbane, I was brought up around boats, however it wasn’t until high school that I got involved with sailing. I started off racing dinghies, then after moving to Sydney in 2009 I discovered my passion for offshore racing. Since graduating from Griffith University on the Gold Coast, my passion for sailing has taken me all over the world. I have worked as a corporate racing skipper as well as numerous deliveries and refits, all with the intention of one day racing across oceans.

Having heard of the Mini Transat while at school in Australia, and working for IMOCA 60 and Class 40 teams I knew it was the race for me, and that I had to find a way to make it happen. My goal is to race in the 2013 Mini Transat, and then continue to train and race in France to be in a strong position for the 2015 Mini Transat.

Entries are limited for the Transat and it will be an uphill battle to qualify in less than one year. To do so I need to complete 1000nm of official class races as well as a 1000nm solo passage. Having raced on the Classe Mini circuit double handed in 2012, I have now moved to Lorient in France to prepare my boat AUS785 for the coming season. Moving without any French and without a major sponsor has been a massive leap of faith but it is the best place to be to prepare for the coming season. France’s dominance of solo ocean racing comes from events such as the Mini Transat. Ellen MacArthur (1997), Samantha Davies (2001), Loïck Peyron (1979) and Michel Desjoyeaux (1991) have all cut their teeth in what is seen as the incubator and test ground for professional solo ocean racing.

Follow my journey on and off the water at Katrina Ham Racing and at www.facebook.com/KatrinaHamRacing.
Wildwind 2016 660x82upffront 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Etchells Europeans - Kiwis on top after Day 1 after long day in Cowes
For the first day of the 2016 Etchells Open Europeans, PRO Phil Lawrence, prophesied that it might be a long day The top Etchells team today was Feng Shui, from the Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Auckland, NZ. Helmed by Andrew Wills and owned by Anatole Masfen, Matthew Kelway completes the line up. The team has won several New Zealand National Titles and Wills was on Jud Smith's winning team for the 2006 Etchells Worlds.
Posted on 29 Aug
Hollandia wins 8 Metre World Cup
After nine race series, Netherlands' Hollandia wins it with eight points. The racing took place in a range of conditions After a five day, nine race series, Hollandia of the Netherlands wins it with eight points. The racing took place in a range of conditions and Hollandia managed to win every race.
Posted on 29 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race - Enright and Towill ready to go again in 2017/18
Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put their experience to use. Team Alvimedica were the youngest team in the race last edition, and now skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put that experience to use. Volvo Ocean race's Jonno Turner caught up with Mark and Charlie to chat about everything from the transition back into 'real life', their reflections on the 2014-15 campaign - and the future.
Posted on 29 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club takes the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Trophy again
The yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water. Every August the biggest question for the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Regatta is whether this will be the year that Noroton Yacht Club's winning streak ends. Yet even after the age minimums were raised by five years and the event was expanded to 10 teams and three days to stiffen the competition, the yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water.
Posted on 29 Aug
The door’s been flung open – again
Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing gets sexier for Tokyo Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing may get sexier for Tokyo 2020. Yes, the proverbial door has been cast ajar before, often to much fanfare, and not that much has been achieved.
Posted on 28 Aug
Michael Illbruck crowned 2016 Melges 20 World Champion
Although not a simple task, Freides aimed to keep Illbruck behind him, or at minimum out of top nine ranking. Hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino, the World Championship was the most successful to date featuring four days of incredible sportboat racing.
Posted on 28 Aug
Freides defends leadership at Melges 20 World Championship
The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship was a difficult one at best 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino was a difficult one at best, however managed to present some nice new faces at the front of the fleet.
Posted on 28 Aug
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Crew catch up - Meet Dhruv Boruah
After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations, some decide on a future in the marine industry, some take time out to assess their next move in life and others seek their next challenge.
Posted on 27 Aug
Changing of the Guard at Melges 20 Worlds, Freides takes over
The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship featured two races under shifty conditions 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino featured two races under shifty conditions, shaking up the standings and making Drew Freides' Pacific Yankee the new leader with a one point advantage over Michael Illbruck on Pinta now seated in second place.
Posted on 27 Aug