Nearly June !

We find ourselves a little more than a month from the departure of the Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy, the first of two Mini races leaving from Douarnenez. The Plastimo-Lorient, which raced during confinement, has just finished and saw Hugo Dhallenne and Thibault Vauchel Camus win in Series (979), plus  Pierre le Roy and Cédric Faron winning with  the  imperial prototype 1019, Réseau étincelle.

The Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy and the Mini-Fastnet have been placed on the list of priority competitions by the French Sailing Federation and should take place on the dates concerned under a protocol adapted to the health situation;  less convivial perhaps but the warmth and good spirits of the Winches Club volunteers will still be present!

Dozens of boats are on the waiting list. And the organisation has just allowed 4 extra places, carrying the number of registrations for each race to 84. The competitors can’t wait to get to Douarnenez in June. Which makes for a very promising season.


French Duo Racing of 600 nautical miles

Departure 13 June, 2021
Awards 19 June, 2021

International Double Race of 600 nautical miles
Douarnenez – Fastnet Lighthouse – Douarnenez

The Mini-Fastnet organised since 2002 by the Winches Club.

Mini-Fastnet… 600 nautical miles to enter in Mini Class history. Four unforgettable days and nights to approach the legendary light of the Fastnet. A race to be shared as a real proof.

So, absolute to integrate the Mini circuit threw this race.

The course (approximatively 600 nautcal miles) :
Douarnenez – Chenal du Four – Wolf Rock –  Racon, East of Scilly –  Stags – Fastnet Lighthouse – Douarnenez.

The registration is open here

An exceptional race.

An apocalyptic crossing of the English Channel with about a dozen teams who have abandoned, the charm of the Irish coasts, the legendary Fastnet Lighthouse followed by a calm and nerve-racking period, and finally a very exciting finish: this was the 34th Mini Fastnet. As Thomas Coville puts it: “It’s an exceptional race with diverse challenges”. On top of that, a new speed record was set, making this year a memorable 34th edition of the Mini-Fastnet. The looks and smiles of the sailors on arrival tell you about the intense and fantastic adventure that they just had.
Last Friday we celebrated in particular the two champions who, like last year, won the Mini-Fastnet: Axel Tréhin in proto and Ambrogio Beccaria in series. It was also the end of three busy weeks for the team of volunteers from the Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy and the Mini-Fastnet, two races that add to the reputation of Douarnenez among the Mini races.
The adventure continues for the competitors of the Mini circuit, with the Transgascogne at the end of July and the Mini-Transat in September, for some of them.
Thank you all! See you next year!

The podium in series

4h12’38s Thursday June 20: Ambrogio Beccaria and Alberto Riva win the Mini-Fastnet in the series category.

5h58m00s Thursday June 20: Nicolas D’Estais and Sam Goodchild, on the 905, finished at the second place.
Nicolas D’Estais: “I’ve never been so fast, the way up to the Fasnet was pretty rough. I learned a lot from Sam”. Super happy with the result, he remembers his teammate’s philosophy: “At one point, we spent more than 4 hours without seeing anyone… Sam reassured me that you can’t be overtaken by an entire fleet without realizing it!”
Sam Goodchild is a team member of Thomas Coville and is delighted with this first Mini experience.

6h18m37s Thursday, June 20: Amélie Grassi and Davy Beaudart, on the 944, crossed the finish line, at the third place.
Amélie: “They were solid” when talking about the winners Ambrogio Beccaria and Alberto Riva. After the English Channel, Amélie and Davy quickly realized that there was no Maxi left in front of them. Even if she deplores some mistakes, Amélie is still happy and is sure to have fought well in this race.
On his side, Davy really enjoyed the way up to Fastnet. He is really pleased with the racing conditions, as well as the splendid coastal landscapes of Ireland. He is very happy with this 2019 edition.

The rest of the fleet will continue to arrive until late tonight.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for tomorrow, Friday 21 June at 6:00pm at the “Maison du nautisme” in Tréboul.

First place for Ambrogio Beccaria and Alberto Riva, both surprised!

4h12’38s Thursday June 20: Ambrogio Beccaria and Alberto Riva win the Mini-Fastnet in the series category.

“When we saw the Maxi coming in the English Channel, we said to ourselves, alright, for sure they’ll be in front of us” But Ambrogio and Alberto never saw them again (and for good reasons!). They did their own race, often competing with the prototypes. “A perfect race, but very wet” says Ambrogio ” zero problem, and at the Fastnet it was amazingly beautiful! ».

For Alberto, it was a race for the Maxi, and he is delighted to take his first win on the Mini-Fastnet, after winning the prologue three times.

Ambrogio, for his part, wins the Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy twice in a row and the Mini-Fastnet twice in a row!

A new Mini-Fastnet record

 “It was such a fast way up! “says Thomas Coville.

Thomas Coville and Axel Tréhin won the race and set a new Mini-Fastnet record by completing the race in 3 days 4h58’26s at an average speed of 7.86 knots. (The previous record was 3 days 08h52’19s from 2017 and was set by Ian Lipinski and David Raison)

After passing the Fastnet, the duo experienced an electric blackout and sailed without a weather vane or compass from the Irish Sea.

“It was really great, the navigation was amazing. Axel is really very, very strong” said Thomas Coville, obviously delighted with the experience: “It’s an exceptional race, a complete journey”.

“We didn’t eat hot food, crossing the English Channel was very sporty. It was a big fight with François Jambou and Pascal Fievet. They didn’t give up, we had to give everything we had! “said the crew of the 945.


On the pontoon, Axel and Thomas thank Fabio Muzzolini (716) once again warmly for helping them out with a daggerboard just before the start.

Axel Tréhin won his second Mini-Fastnet in a row, it was Thomas Coville’s first attempt.

For François Jambou and Pascal Fievet: “The consolation prize is to be 60 miles ahead of the rest of the fleet! ». They are of course a little disappointed: “I tried everything and I didn’t find the solution,” François said. There was also some little damages on the 865: a winch torn off and the daggerboards stuck.

On the pontoon of Tréboul, the four sailors enumerated their many interactions throughout the race, which was intense from one end to the other. “We couldn’t reach Ireland any faster”, according to François. Axel agrees.

François Jambou and Pascal Fievet completed their Mini-Fastnet in 3 days 5h58’20s, at an average speed of 7.76 knots.

These two crews arrive with a huge lead over the fleet. But the race continues! The next arrivals are expected in the middle of next night. We notice that in the series, Ambrogio Beccaria and Alberto Riva on the 943 have manoeuvred with a master hand and have a good lead over their competitors.

These two crews arrive with a huge lead over the fleet. But the race continues! The next arrivals are expected in the middle of next night. We notice that in the series, Ambrogio Beccaria and Alberto Riva on the 943 have a good lead over their competitors.

Safety inspection

One of the main goals of the Class Mini is to move towards more safety while maintaining the very sporty and innovative aspect of the Mini. This mindset, accentuated by stubborn memories of accidents, results in boat-competitor pairs among the safest of offshore racing.

Safety first

While the measurement defines the boat-specific safety systems, the safety inspection allows checking and validating the mandatory safety equipment that the skipper will take during the race. This equipment varies according to the category of the race.
Race are thus classified by the Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) according to the number of miles and the difficulty:
The Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy : OSR 3
The Mini-Fastnet : OSR 2
The Mini-Transat : OSR 1
The Vendée Globe : OSR 0

Volunteers are taking care of the inspection

One category separates the Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy from the Mini-Fastnet, so more safety equipment is required for the skippers.
In addition to the life raft, the survival container, the EPIRB beacon, the VHF, nautical documents and many other things, the equipment must notably include 2 TPS suits, an AIS transponder and a personal AIS beacon, a SSB radio, an extended pharmacy and additional survival food rations.

A team of volunteers is performing the safety inspection, open until the day before departure. Starting today (Tuesday), they will inspect more than 80 boats.