Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 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 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82

Related Articles

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Clipper 70 fleet makeover begins
Maintenance Team at Race HQ is now hard at work to refit the Clipper 70s in preparation for the 2017-18 race. After clocking up an average of 41,000 miles each during their tenth edition race circumnavigation, the Maintenance Team at Race HQ is now hard at work to refit the Clipper 70s in preparation for the 2017-18 race.
Posted today at 8:42 am
Building conditions on Day 2 of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds
San Francisco has a storied reputation as a world-class venue during summer/early fall, and Day 2 of Alcatel J/70 Worlds San Francisco has a storied reputation as a world-class venue during the summer and early fall, and Day Two of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, did not disappoint.
Posted today at 4:54 am
Groupama Race – Between the north and Nouméa
Beau Geste arrived at 7:09am this morning, taking the third position on real-time, behind Vodafone and Scallywag. Beau Geste arrived at 7:09am this morning, taking the third position on real-time, behind Vodafone and Scallywag. The crew was very pleased about his race. The owner and skipper, Karl Kwok, compared the luxury and unspoilt landscapes from the East coast to Polynesia and the West coast to Cebu island in Philippines.
Posted on 28 Sep
68 yachts line up for the first two races of J70 World Championship
In the second race, conditions ranged from 18-25 knots with choppy seas which left more than one competitor on his side After three days of “non San Francisco” conditions over the wekend-85 degrees with sailors waiting around for wind while complaining of it being to hot in the parking lot-“San Francisco” came back. In the second race of the day, conditions ranged from 18-25 knots with choppy seas which left more than one competitor on his side with the gennaker up.
Posted on 28 Sep
Les Voiles de St Tropez - Eugenia Bakunova's view of Day 2
Not a lot of wind for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St Tropez. Not a lot of wind for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St Tropez. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru captured these images of the always picturesque classics as they sailed in a light breeze
Posted on 28 Sep
Legendary Mitch Booth to compete in St-Barth Cata Cup 2016
Sixty teams have already confirmed they will be competing in the event. As a triple world champion, Booth is no stranger to the F18. For this edition, he will be joined by Andy Dinsdale, a regular on the waters around St Barth.
Posted on 28 Sep
Les Voiles de St Tropez - Eugenia Bakunova's images from Day 1
Racing got underway in St Propez on the first day at Les Voiles de St Tropez with three dedicated race zones Racing got underway in St Propez on the first day at Les Voiles de St Tropez with three dedicated race zones, Nioulargue for the Modern yachts, Pampelonne for the Wallys and the bay for the 15 m JIs, racing in an even swell and glorious sunshine. Most of the Classic yachts are not due to set sail until the second day of racing. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on hand to capture the acti
Posted on 28 Sep
J-70 Worlds - San Francisco - Images from a fired up first day
Images and video of the opening day of the J-70 Worlds being run by the St Francis Yacht Club. Videographer and photographer, John Navas was on the water on the Berkley Circle, San Francisco for the opening day of the J-70 Worlds being run by the St Francis Yacht Club. Here's his view of the day in video and still images.
Posted on 28 Sep
Alcatel J/70 Worlds - Cut-throat competition on Day 1 in San Francisco
World Championship regattas always generate high-level competition World Championship regattas always generate high-level competition, but when you stack 68 of the world’s most popular One Design boats on San Francisco Bay in a crisp, late-September breeze, you can bet your last shackle that the competition will be ferocious.
Posted on 28 Sep
Les Voiles de St Tropez France – Day 2 images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day two Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day two
Posted on 27 Sep