Please select your home edition
Edition
NCYC Sailfest 2019 - Leaderboard

Mini-Transat La Boulangère – A sense of ambivalence among Mini sailors

by Event Media on 30 Sep 2017
Mini-Transat La Boulangère village Christophe Breschi
This Saturday, on the eve of the start, the atmosphere has utterly changed on the pontoons hosting the Mini-Transat la Boulangère fleet.

Overnight, family friends, day-old acquaintances, partners and former Mini racers out to celebrate the race’s 40th anniversary, have been thronging around the boats. The solo sailors themselves are torn between the pleasure of being surrounded by the people who mean so much to them and a desire to be out there sailing already.

The atmosphere had become more relaxed as the week went on, after the initial, rather alarmist weather forecasts from earlier on in the week, improved considerably. For the solo sailors, it’s been all about putting the finishing touches to a series of odd jobs, amidst like-minded people, with teams restricted to a few old faithfuls, out to give a last helping hand with the preparations.

And suddenly, this Saturday morning, the wave of friends, familiar faces from the race and the media following the event, flooded the pontoons of the Bassin des Chalutiers. Faced with this welcome tsunami, the Mini sailors have been trying hard to show willing, not about to refuse the offers of kindness at a time when they’re about to take the plunge from what feels like the ten-metre board.

“We’re being targeted from all sides. We’re on the receiving end of some incredible displays of affection, which are a little overwhelming to say the least and we feel torn between such random acts of kindness and the need to get into the zone, into race mode. In fact, our minds are already elsewhere… but perhaps we’re the only ones to know that,” explains an old hand who has racked up three Mini-Transats so far.



A final helping hand

In the midst of this maelstrom, certain skippers are managing to keep their feet on the ground. On some boats, like Emile Henry, Erwan Le Draoulec’s Pogo 3, everything has been ready to go for some days, whilst others still have a few odd jobs to finish. “It never stops in any case,” says a wise Fred Guérin (Lesamis.com), with no fewer than three Mini-Transats to his credit. “You just have to know when to say stop…”.

For these final hours, some have been receiving additional help from family like Tanguy Bouroullec (CERFRANCE Kerhis), who’s had some technical assistance from his father Christian, director and creator of the Structures yards, or Nolwen Cazé (Fée Rêvée), whose dad took part in the very first Route du Café or the Transat Jacques Vabre as it’s now known. Others have come along to support their protégés like Imoca sailor Kito de Pavant, who has taken Jonathan Chodkiewiez (Tasty Granny) under his wing. The latter is setting sail aboard a rather venerable prototype, which he’s hoping he can really show what she’s made of out on the water. It’s certainly a far cry from the eighties where the jigsaw was still much in evidence on the pontoons, though certain traditions continue all the same.

A fortieth birthday celebrated in style

Perhaps more so than in previous editions, the old hands, those who are in the know, the cult Mini sailors, seem to be particularly numerous on the pontoons. In the evening, on the eve of the start, the Class Mini paid homage to what amounts to nearly a thousand racers, who have already walked the boards in a bid to chase the rainbow of racing across the Atlantic singlehanded, without assistance, for the sheer pleasure of proving themselves.



Like any family reunion, there were those sailors who pulled it off in the end, which led to some ambitious offshore racing projects, such as Yves Le Blévec, Sam Davies, Tanguy de Lamotte, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede and Isabelle Joschke… Above all though, there have been a cohort of underlings, those who returned to their professional occupations with this unique experience etched in their memories forever. All, without exception, enriched by a whole new life or nostalgic about past years, were simply delighted to see the family coming together, flitting from one encounter to the next, embracing the true Mini spirit at its finest.

Naiad 660x82px_SuperyachtGul 2018 October - Code Zero AUST FOOTERHarken AUS Reflex FOOTER

Related Articles

All purpose G1 Sailing Gloves from Zhik
The latest addition to Zhik's growing range of performance sailing gloves The latest addition to Zhik's growing range of performance sailing gloves. Zhik's G1 Gloves are intended for the sailing enthusiast, warm weather and general protection.
Posted today at 2:00 pm
LBYC Ficker Cup:Gateway to greatness
Gateway to greatness If the Congressional Cup is the gateway to the America's Cup, the Ficker Cup is the gateway to the Congressional Cup.
Posted today at 1:29 pm
Spinlock becomes Clipper Race lifejacket supplier
Spinlock will be kitting out each of the eleven Clipper Race crews The Clipper Race is pleased to reveal Spinlock as its new Official Lifejacket Supplier for the next two editions, 2019-20 and 2021-22, of the biennial round the world yacht race.
Posted today at 9:00 am
Australian Multihull Championship slated for ABRW
Some of the largest and fastest multihulls set for Airlie Beach Race Week 2019 Some of the largest and fastest multihulls, both catamarans and trimarans, will descend on Whitsunday Sailing Club's (WSC) Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing to compete in the 2019 Australian Multihull Championship, to be held from 8-15 August.
Posted today at 5:37 am
America's Cup: NYYC team dry lapping in Florida
American Magic confirmed this week that it is sailing “dry laps” at its winter base in Florida Top America's Cup correspondent, Bernie Wilson spoke with NYYC American Magic skipper and CEO, Terry Hutchinson to get an update on the team's progress at their Florida winter base.
Posted today at 12:39 am
2019 12ft Skiff Port Jackson Championship
Sailed on an unusually empty Sydney harbour The NSW 12ft Skiff Fleet contested the Port Jackson Championship yesterday in 14-18 knots Westerly on an unusually empty Sydney harbour. The event marks the last interclub of the season and a final tune up before next month's Australian Championship
Posted on 18 Mar
Golden Globe Race day 260
Kopar was making 5.1knots, having managed to cover 120 miles Day 260: At 04:00 UTC today, American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar and his Tradewind 35 yacht Puffin was within 250 miles of the finish line and expected to reach Les Sables d'Olonne around 09:00 UTC on Thursday 21st March.
Posted on 18 Mar
Summer Pennant Race in Hobart race 8
Three generations of Calverts aboard winner Intrigue Three generations of Hobart's wellknown sailing family, the Calverts, were aboard champion yacht Intrigue when she notched up yet another double rating win in the Combined Clubs Summer Pennant on the River Derwent on Saturday.
Posted on 18 Mar
MC38 Australian Championship overall
Maserati's wins 2019 MC38 Australian National Championship Nine races down and the national title was anyone's to claim. It wasn't until Race 10, that saw the Championships being handed over to Neville Crichton's Maserati.
Posted on 18 Mar
Left Languishing
Trophies, are somewhat different from boats. They don't tend to deteriorate quite so badly Trophies are somewhat different from boats. They don't tend to deteriorate quite so badly when they get left alone for ages. Case in point, the Sayonara Cup. It has had several periods in its life when it has been left to its own devices.
Posted on 17 Mar