• Numerous candidates compete in the first races of the season
• These early series begin to point the way for performances
• First rendez-vous in Douarnenez, the Trophée Marie-Agnès Péron
• Inauguration of the race press area at www.minitransat.fr
The Open Demi-Clé (double handed) and Pornichet Select (single handed) open the batting for this season’s racing for the Atlantic Ministes, whilst in the Mediterranean competitors are offered the four races of the Mini-Golfe au Gran Premio d’Italia. With 112 pre-registered for 84 available starting slots, the battle for places will be fierce.
On the Mediterranean the ball began to roll with the Mini Golfe 2013, which saw twenty competitors come together in La Grande Motte in March to begin their battle. The rest of the program in the Mediterranean will be focused on the Italian races with between 15 and 20 competitors, including the American Jeffrey Mac Farlane (www.jeffreymacfarlane.com) who steps aboard Henry-Paul Schipman’s old boat which finished 3rd in the Transat 6.50 in 2009.
Proto: Gahinet by a slim margin
In the Atlantic, the Open Demi-Clé saw adverse weather conditions force a postponement for the race between Locmiquélic and Pornichet. In the prototypes Gwénolé Gahinet (Watever-Nautipark) sailing with Gregory Mouly eventually got the upper hand after long struggle against Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) and Sébastien Josse. A week later the two sailors, this time sailing alone, finished in the same order in the Pornichet Select. Gwénolé and Giancarlo have already staked their claims as podium contenders for the next Mini-Transat, alongside other regularly placed competitors such as Benoit Marie (benoitmarie.com), Louis Segré (Roll My Chicken) and Bertrand Delesne (TeamWork).
Series: Justine hits her rhythm
For the series production boats, the winning move was credited to Justine Mettraux (TeamWork) who crushed the competition in the Pornichet Select. This Swiss sailor showed she has a good head on her shoulders by refusing to engage, unlike the rest of the pack, in the currents off Belle Isle, giving it a wide berth instead. The result was a lead of several hours, which reinforces the standing of this sailor who, after her victory in 2012 in the first leg of the race Les Sables – Azores, confirms that she has both good speed and that her navigation and tactics are particularly sharp. She nevertheless faces some very stiff competition in which you can already include names such as Renaud Mary (www.runo.fr), Clement Bouyssou (No War), Ian Lipinski (Pas de futur sans numérique), Aymeric Belloir (Tout le monde chante contre le cancer) and also Elise Bakhoum (Quéramix). This mix demonstrates brilliantly that in the Mini class equality between men and women is not just a beautiful ideal.
During the month of May the Ministes will cross the English Channel on the occasion of the La Trinité –Plymouth followed by the UK Fastnet, before returning to Douarnenez for the Trophée Marie-Agnès Péron from 10 to 15 June, which, with 91 registered, has a full entry. On 17 June, the fleet will head out once again from Douarnenez for the Mini-Fastnet, racing around the legendary lighthouse at the southwestern tip of Ireland. In summary, for the Breton city, these will be the first stirrings before the long-awaited October 13, 2013 deadline.
The course 2013 : back to the origins
First leg Douarnenez – Arrecife (Lanzarote island) : 1200 NM.
Second leg Arrecife – Pointe à Pitre : 2800 NM.
Prologue October 6th 2013.
Start from Douarnenez Octobre 13th 2013 at 1.00 PM.
Arrival in the Canary islands between October 23rd and 26th 2013.
Start from hte Canary Islands November 9th 2013.
Arrival in Guadeloupe between November 23rd and 30th 2013.