Please select your home edition
Edition
Vaikobi 2021 Boots - LEADERBOARD

Classe Mini 2021: Overcoming obstacles for a successful season

by Robin Clegg 20 Dec 2021 06:21 PST
Classe Mini 2021: Overcoming obstacles for a successful season © Christophe Breschi

Classe Mini president Jean Lorre has hailed the last season as "positive" for the 6.50 boat class, despite a number of obstacles.

At the prize-giving for the Mini-Transat Eurochef and the French Solo Offshore Racing Championship at the Salon Nautique in Paris, the outgoing president spoke about overcoming adversity and future plans.

What is your assessment of this year for Classe Mini?

It has been a really good season for several reasons. Like many other sporting events, the pandemic certainly complicated our plans but working with the French Sailing Federation, the maritime authorities and race organisers, we managed to complete a full race calendar. We were all driven by the same passion for the Mini and with incredible support and energy from the sailors and volunteers, we adapted to the challenges and found solutions.

Given those challenges, it was remarkable that we exceeded the previous record for the number of race nautical miles the boats could potentially complete over the course of the season. With 375 boats taking part in at least one of the 15 races, the skippers covered 590,000 nm in total, the equivalent of nearly 25 Vendée Globes!

It was a great achievement that 84 boats [out of 90] crossed the finish line of the Mini Transat Eurochef in Guadeloupe. There were many twists and turns before and during the crossing the sailors had to deal with; a pandemic, Orca attacks, a volcanic eruption in the Canaries and challenging weather.

The podium finishes for the season shows the diversity with three different boats, a Maxi, Vector and Pogo3, coming out on top in the production class. In the prototype class, some of the favorites such as Pierre Le Roy, Fabio Muzzolini finished well as did Tanguy Bouroullec in third place.

Why does the Classe Mini remain so popular?

The Mini 6.50 is a right of passage for so many sailors who want to gain experience and "pass their Mini first" before graduating to bigger boats, if that's their chosen path. The competitors, despite differing levels of experience and background, are a tight knit group who grow in so many ways through their Mini journey. I joined the Board of Directors after being overwhelmed by the experiences I had in the Mini Transat. I really wanted to help others make the most of this incredible opportunity. I think that's what drives board members to promote this indefinable Mini spirit.

What changes are we going to see next season?

The board has been working hard to explore ways we can keep costs down and reduce our environmental impact and this has been agreed by a members vote at the general assembly held at the Salon Nautique.

We are cutting the number of sails the boats can use during the season from seven to six and the production boats jibs will have to be made of more durable materials to increase their longevity, reduce waste and costs over time. In consultation with the sailors, we have decided to limit the type of electronics that can be installed on the boats. There are some expensive pieces of kit that can have a significant impact on performance but our philosophy is very much to keep things simple, easy and affordable.

We've also made some additions to the 2022 race calendar which begins with the Mini Golfe in early March. There are going to be 20 races, in total, with nine taking place in the Mediterranean Sea and there will now be a third stage of the Calvados Cup. We're also introducing the SoloMed, a loop taking the boats from Barcelona to Morocco.

It's been an honour to have led the class but I am stepping down from my role and members will meet in January to elect their new President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary.

2021 Classe Mini in numbers:

  • 462 members with 12% female competitors
  • 130 new members
  • 22 nationalities represented (66% French)
  • 21 new boats in 2021: 17 production and 4 prototypes
  • 15 races covering 9,152 nm
  • 81 former Mini skippers took part in at least one sailing race in the Class40, Imoca, Ocean Fifty or Ultim classes this year

Related Articles

Coconuts Sail Team aiming for transatlantic record
Joining forces with the association Utopia 56 For the Mini-Transat of 2021, skipper Jay Thompson and his family decided to join forces with the association Utopia 56, in solidarity and respect of the fundamental rights of exiles. Posted on 13 Aug
Peter Gibbons-Neff on his Classe Mini campaign
An interview with Peter Gibbons-Neff on his Classe Mini campaign I checked in with Peter Gibbons-Neff, the lone American sailor on the Class Mini circuit, via email, to learn more about what it's like to be an American taking on this competitive singlehanded offshore racing circuit. Posted on 21 Jul
Entries closed as SAS race full for the first time
The high level of interest in the bi-annual Les Sables-Les Acores-Les Sables race The growing popularity of the Classe Mini has continued with the upcoming Les Sables - Les Acores - Les Sables (SAS) being oversubscribed for the first time in its history. Posted on 11 Jul
Waterline Mini set to embark
Xavier Doerr will attempt to beat the World Speed Sailing and Guinness World Records This Sunday May 29, 21 year old Australian, Xavier Doerr, will commence "The Little Aussie Lap", a solo non-stop unassisted circumnavigation of Australia in his 21ft Mini Transat yacht, Waterline. Posted on 28 May
Increased interest brings new challenges
For the organisers of this year's Classe Mini series Organisers of this year's Classe Mini series are having to deal with an unprecedented demand for spaces for the 2022 series which recently kicked off with several events in the Mediterranean. Posted on 20 Apr
Fourth Cape Weedwand
Don't go overboard clearing your rudders Rudders are prone to catching seaweed, particularly when there are two of them! Dragging weed will slow down any boat but is especially problematic when racing. Therefore it's important to check regularly and have a reliable method for removing weed. Posted on 2 Apr
Introduction to Offshore Sailing Recap
A great turnout for event run by Ireland's Offshore Racing Academy A great turnout and refreshing to see so many enthusiastic sailors online last night for the first of our online sessions aimed at Offshore Sailing for 2022. Posted on 26 Mar
DMG Mori Sailing Academy launches Trainee Program
Presents young talents selected for next season Knowledge transfer and fostering young people have always been part of DMG Mori's corporate philosophy. Therefore, the DMG Mori Sailing Team empowers talents to work in offshore sailing through a trainee program as part of the DMG Mori Sailing Academy. Posted on 24 Jan
Mini Transat EuroChef Leg 2 summary
High drama right to the wire for the production boats Rarely in the race's history has the match been so tight among the production boats. Indeed, right to the last, a large proportion of the fleet were embroiled in a close-contact race and (virtually) all the way to the wire. Posted on 15 Nov 2021
Hugo Dhallenne first production boat in Leg 2
Arriving into Saint-François in the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef This Sunday at 13:32 UTC, Hugo Dhallenne crossed the finish line in Mini Transat EuroChef Leg 2, completing the 2,700 theoretical miles of the course between Santa Cruz de La Palma and Saint-François in first place in the production boat category. Posted on 14 Nov 2021
North Sails 2021 Innovation - FOOTERUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERC-Tech 2020 Tubes 728x90 BOTTOM