The Mini Transat race was created in 1977 by sailor Bob Salmon in the UK and the starting point was moved to France in 1985. Nowadays, the race takes place every two years. It starts in France and ends in the Caribbean with an intermediate finish in the Canary Islands.
This year, the race celebrates its 44th birthday and starts in the French city Le Sables d'Olonne on the 26th of September. An intermediate point is Santa Cruz on the island of Palma. The finish line is located near the city of Saint-François in Guadeloupe.
Mini Transat is a solo race. More than 4,000 miles and about a month, face to face with the Ocean, on yachts Classe MINI only 6.5 meters long!
Without communication to the land
The Mini Transat feature is the absence of connection between sailor and anyone on the shore. It is this isolation for many-many days that made this spectacular race world famous. It is forbidden to have mobile and satellite phones on board.
According to the rules of the race, any outside help is prohibited. Each athlete must complete the race independently and cope with all the difficulties alone. Help from outside leads to disqualification.
No chartplotters, computers or automatic routing
Skippers must be good navigators, but not only this: they must be also well versed in meteorology and be able to prepare the yacht technically. They must be strong and endurant. In Mini Transat race they will sleep no more than 20 minutes in a row for dozens of days.
Place at the starting line
The number of places at the start is limited - there are only 84. And you will have to fight for them.
More than 80 skippers from many countries regularly challenge nature and themselves. People of all ages, social classes and with different maritime experiences come annually to the Class Mini circuit to make their dreams come true, to touch this lifestyle of high achievements, to start a new way as a professional racer.
2,500 qualifying miles is required
Real training, qualifying sailing and races take a total of two years. Each skipper must complete at least 1,500 miles in class races and complete 1,000 mile solo non-stop sailing.
Over the forty-year history of Mini Transat, a total of about 900 yachtsmen have taken part in it (and other races of the association). About 300 skippers take part in various class competitions in Europe every year. For some of them it is a test of oneself, for others it is the beginning of a long, professional journey.
Partners and sponsors
Last but not least - skippers must learn to promote their sailing project in order to attract partners to their personal Mini Transat. This race requires a lot of perseverance and determination.
The Mini Transat sailing competition is definitely worth following even if you are not a sailor. It's intense and fast-paced. Don't miss out, the race is happening in 2021 and after that, in 2023.
This post originally appeared on Irina Gracheva's Facebook profile.