On the surface, this 31st Mini Fastnet may seem uneventful, especially when we consider how the event as a whole went so smoothly. We would be wrong to think so, however, as the sea was nothing like smooth on the first night, the night of the Channel crossing, and a rough one it was. The competitors had been warned, so they had prepared for it, yet even so they had to deal with tough sailing conditions in the first stages, when they got drenched and very cold.
This 31st Mini Fastnet may seem somewhat bland because there has been so little boat damage, no distress calls, very few pit stops, no case requiring to contact the CROSS (Regional Operational Centre for Monitoring and Rescue), in short, from this perspective you might say it was plain sailing. And yet…
Yet, it has to be said about this 2016 Mini Fastnet:
This is the year that the youngest and the oldest competitors sailed on the same Mini. A daughter aged barely twenty, her father aged sixty-nine; what a lovely crew! Well done to Michel and Marine on 512.
This is the year that it all went like clockwork.
This is the year that sailors were astounded by the accuracy and reliability of Jean-Jacques Quéré’s weather forecast.
This is the year that the first sixteen Production boats are Pogo3s
This is the year that Estelle, Erwan, Kevin and Antoine hit the bottom near the Pourceaux rocks in the Chenal du Four and were escorted back to Camaret.
This is the year that JMO got stuck under the lifeline while he was clearing seaweed from his rudder blade, and that his beacon was activated. He had to be cut free.
This is the year that Guillaume and Benoit tangled with ocean sunfish near the Irish coast. Even so the two skippers’ version of the story is different from the facts, it is a fact that they lost a rudder blade, and came back on one leg. Only once in a blue moon…
This is the year that a Czech crew, Pavel and Milan, nearly won the race. Our previous post ‘Drama in the Bay’ will tell you more about this.
This is the year that the King of Douarnenez nearly failed to win. Although, with Charly and Davy at the helm, the Faufiffon eventually breezed in first place over the crossing line.
This is the year that Nolwenn and Nicolas were trying to find out, via VHF, the finer points of operating a Roger designed Mini.
This is the year that the Croat crews, Vedran and Darko, Slobodan and Andraz, gave it their all.
This is the year that a skipper absentmindedly sailed right across the TSS and slipped to the bottom of the ranking.
This is the year that a Viking from Concarneau won his first and well-deserved victory – a pleasure to behold.
This is the year with10 protos in the starting line-up and 6 protos finishing the race; the year before another great fight between snub noses and a variety of swift proto gliders…at least we hope so.
This is the year when Ian added another victory to his tally.
Like every year, this is the year that you are already excited about another jaunt to the Fastnet; Mini in terms of the type of boat taking part, huge in terms of the joys it brings.
Photo Simon Jourdan