Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Dynamic 40 Leaderboard

Clipper Race first mate takes on Mini Transat

by Clipper Round the World Race 26 Sep 2021 01:36 PDT
Clipper Round the World Race 3 - Hugo Picard © Clipper Race

Whilst the Clipper Race is renowned for training people with no previous sailing experience to become ocean racers, the event also provides challenges and new skills to more experienced sailors; including its professional Race Skippers and First Mates.

Many of these professionals have utilised their experience from circumnavigating the globe, to progress their careers within the sailing industry. Most famous would be Race Skipper alumni, Alex Thomson, who was the youngest skipper to win the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 1996. Along with breaking and holding multiple records as a yachtsman, he has also finished third and second in the Vendée Globe.

A familiar face in the current edition of the Clipper Race is Hugo Picard, known to his 126k subscribers on YouTube as The Sailing Frenchman. Hugo is taking part in the Mini Transat, a single handed transatlantic race that takes place every two years and which starts this weekend.

The Mini Transat is known to be one of the most challenging single-handed events due to the small size of the high performance boats (6.5m) and the high speeds they're capable of reaching. It is also known to be an incubator of professional single-handed ocean racers. Taking a look at the 2020-21 Vendée Globe, 18 competitors had competed in at least one Mini Transat.

During his preparations for this ocean race, Hugo, shared details about his upcoming endeavour.

Talking about different ocean racing events, Hugo said: "The sea applies the same rules to everyone regardless of which boat you are on. It's the same spirit whether you do the Clipper Race, the Vendee Globe or the Mini Transat, you face the same constraints once you are out there.

"Being comfortable living at sea and being offshore for an extended period of time is something you don't realise that takes its toll. It's a mind process. When you go out on the water and you know it is going to be long and hard, then your brain kind of switches into a mode that is much more comfortable. Because then your body just adapts to this new reality much faster and that is definitely something I have perfected during the Clipper Race and that is really useful today."

Having crossed the Atlantic both on his own boat and then with the Clipper Race as the AQP on board Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, Hugo is aiming to be competitive within the 90 strong Mini Transat field of skippers. His class is divided into two categories of boats; series and prototypes. Hugo's boat, built in 2020, number 1014 and named SVB Team, is a 'series', one of 65 in the division. With a focus on performance, he posted some strong results during the 2020 preliminary races, seeing top ten finishes and culminating in him winning the Trophée Marie-Agnès Péron in the last race of the season.

As a fierce competitor, Hugo has helped his Clipper 2019-20 Race team, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, to its current position of second on the overall leaderboard. His fellow First Mate, Mike Miller, friend and opponent as AQP on Unicef, said: "What an extraordinary guy! The first thing that strikes you is his luxurious facial hair, which grows so fast he seems to be able to re-style it completely almost every week. "But that doesn't do justice to this multifaceted individual. Clearly he is a good sailor too. Self reliant, capable and, annoyingly for us as his competitors, rather fast! I wish him all the best for the Mini Transat. From what I have seen he has built a very comprehensive programme, has a well prepared boat and has managed to get a lot of miles in and therefore has got to know the boat and ironed out any niggles. He will do really well, I am sure."

With all at the Clipper Race wishing Hugo the best of luck in his Mini Transat campaign, Clipper Race Director, Mark Light, said on behalf of the team: "You are a top sailor, well prepared and at ease on the ocean. I know you will have a great race and we are all behind you. Sail fast, stay safe and enjoy!"

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Founder of the Clipper Race and the first person to sail around the world solo and non-stop, added: "Well done getting to the start line and now show everyone what a good sailor you are."

To follow and support Hugo during his Mini Transat campaign check out his skippers page.

If you would like more information about taking part in the Clipper Race and potentially kick starting your own sailing career, sign up to one of our Discovery Webinars.

To join the race, click here.

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Related Articles

Father and son arrive into Washington, D.C
This remarkable journey marks their participation in the penultimate leg of the Clipper Race Niel and Ben Holt from Maulden, Bedfordshire, have successfully sailed over 7,000 nautical miles from Seattle to Washington, D.C, navigating through the Panama Canal in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Posted on 20 Jun
Knox-Johnston Cup returning to the Solent
Flagship race aims to reignite the joy of big boat racing Run by Clipper Events and named in honour of founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the flagship race aims to reignite the joy of big boat racing through an exhilarating weekend of racing, socialising, camaraderie and networking. Posted on 19 Jun
Qingdao secures first place in Clipper Race 12
Come Sea DC Cup win means second winners title in a row for the team After seven days, and over 1,500nm of racing, Qingdao has crossed the Race 12: Come Sea DC Cup Finish Line in first place, taking home its second winners title in a row. Posted on 16 Jun
Get ready to race in the Knox-Johnston Cup
Your team of up to twelve will be led by a Skipper and Mates in the Solent Named in honour of our founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the Clipper Events flagship race aims to reignite the joy of big boat racing through an exhilarating weekend of racing, socialising, and teamwork! Posted on 16 Jun
Clipper Race 11 review
Tactical, testing, untamed first stage of Leg 7 Popular for so many reasons, but also often underestimated, Leg 7, one of the longest of the circumnavigation, is made up of two races. The first is down the West Coast of North America and the second back up its East Coast. Posted on 26 May
Celebrating throughlines in sailing leadership
And the sailing world's newest hero Back in mid-March, Sail-World celebrated singlehanded American skipper Cole Brauer as the sailing world's newest hero. Now, I'm now happy to report that we have another sailing hero, albeit one who carries a British passport. Posted on 7 May
Clipper Race 11 - See ya Seattle, next stop Panama
The start of Race 11: #StayConnected with SENA Seattle bids farewell to the Clipper Race fleet as it departs for the start of Race 11: #StayConnected with SENA. Posted on 4 May
Grantham local skippers crew of non-professionals
Hannah Brewis has led amateur sailors across the world's largest ocean "I didn't think when I was learning to sail on Rutland Water that it would one day eventually lead to me crossing the biggest ocean in the world as a skipper." Posted on 29 Apr
Clipper 2023-24 Race 10 Finish
Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam wins 5,500nm race across North Pacific Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam has claimed its fourth win on the Clipper 2023-24 Race, taking first place in the longest, and one of the toughest races on the circuit, Race 10: Ultimate Test of Perseverance - the 5,580nm North Pacific crossing. Posted on 24 Apr
Clipper Race fleet set to arrive in Seattle
After taking on the North Pacific Ocean Over 170 non-professional sailors, including 25 Americans, are on board a fleet of eleven Clipper Race yachts currently battling it out in a race across the world's biggest ocean and heading for the Finish Line in Seattle. Posted on 18 Apr
RS Sailing 2021 - FOOTER37th AC Store 2024 - 728x90 BOTTOMZhik 2024 March - FOOTER