All posts by Stéphane Siohan

Small boats, great attitudes

This 32nd Mini-Fastnet has ended with a beautiful final scene. Once again, we find that at the heart of the race lies something much deeper than the spirit of competition, even at this high-flying level of sport and seamanship. The race was over last night when the last of the competing Minis crossed the finishing line near 3 am. However, one of the Mini-Fastnet’s fleet was still at sea: Lendur (470), which had to moor up in Ireland for a few hours for repair and was forced to withdraw.

The skippers decided to sail back to a safe berth in Douarnenez, where the Race Committee, in spite of the boat’s withdrawal, decided to stay in touch and assist Lendur until she had safely returned. At the entrance to Tréboul’s busy marina, Lendur was therefore greeted, as any other competitor, by a support dinghy, which guided her back to her pontoon this afternoon. This gesture of solidarity and respect is characteristic of this sport and this sailing Class.

Around 3pm came the announcement of Lendur’s impending arrival, and the race’s winner in the Production category, Erwan le Draoulec, volunteered to greet Lendur and tow her back into the harbour.
They are at the opposite ends of the ranking, but they have travelled the same road, followed the same tracks in the world of sailing that most people would shrink away from. They are half a century apart in age, as Erwan has just celebrated his twentieth birthday, while the Australian skipper Patrick Conway is seventy years old. Yet the young sailor’s throw of the tow line to the old skipper is a perfect symbol of the solidarity linking these sailors together. This mixture of humility and bravura, simplicity and greatness, that’s first Class. Their Class may be Mini by name, but it achieves greatness in many regards. I am not sure about you, but as for myself, I am already happily projecting myself into next year: same time, same place.


Photo: Simon Jourdan

Richard-Marika and crew

Richard-Marika is a boat that the Mini community knows well. She’s the boat skippers contact after rounding the Basse Vieille to make their impending arrival known, and as such she’s a symbol of the relief and elation that come with finishing the race. She’s a boat that competitors can hear because the horn sound signal for the race to start is emitted from her, and so is the Race Committee’s VHF, which ascertains the competitor’s identity and logs the precise time. Richard-Marika is a blue boat seen as a goal to reach in order to complete the regatta.

On the other hand, Richard-Marika is the flagship of the charity Optmiste 29, whose Chair, Gilles Guyader, on the occasion of the pre-race speeches, gave thanks to the Winches club for the gift of Richard-Marika to his organisation. Indeed, this former fishing boat (a seiner) has been converted to facilitate access to disabled people or people with reduced mobility, so they can go on board and enjoy cruising in the Bay of Douarnenez throughout the summer. Richard-Marika makes it possible for hundreds of people each year to go boating.

Richard-Marika is not only the property of Optimiste 29, she is a whole team of people who make time to work together, year on year, during the Mini 6.50 races organised by the Winches Club. Firstly, there’s the Captain, Louis, and his crew. Then there’s the even-tempered Jean-Jacques, who acts as a general coordinator and maverick, whose services range from weather forecasting, logistics, to assisting the Race Organisers. There’s Chantal, in charge of safety checks and a maternal figure nicknamed ‘mum’ by the skippers. There’s also Christian, the charity’s Treasurer, who can always be relied on whenever you need help; there’s the delightful Christine, who helps with a variety of tasks, and finally Dominique, who carries out safety checks, does the night watch on board Richard-Marika, and does a whole raft of maintenance jobs on the boat throughout the year.


Photos: Simon Jourdan

Mini-Fastnet: ranking update in the Production category

Thursday 22 June

They have been fighting tooth and nail and been on each other heels all along the race route. Judging by this 32nd Mini-Fastnet, we can expect a particularly exciting punch-up in the Mini Transat starting from La Rochelle on 1st October 2017.

Times at which they crossed the finishing line:

1. Emile Henry (895) Erwan Le Draoulec and Clarisse Cremer, at 10h. 39min 00sec.

2. Kerhis – Cerfrance (909) Tanguy Bouroullec and William Blosse, at 10h. 41min 14sec.

3. (910) Tom Dolan and François Jambou, at 10h. 44min 12sec

4. Technique Voile (913) Germain Kerleveo and Fred Duthil, at 10h. 50min 31sec.

5. Constructions du Belon (868) Nicolas Ferellec and Rémi Aubrun, at 10h. 57min 42sec.

6. Mahi-Mahi (869) Charly Fernbach and Benoit Hantzperg, at 11h. 04min 29sec.

7. Océ (887) Pierre Chedeville and Antoine Gloanec, at 11h. 06min 04sec.

8. Alla Grande Ambeco (539) Ambrogio Beccaria and Alberto Riva at 11h. 11min 38sec.

9. Shaman – Banque du Léman (903) Valentin Gautier and François Amaury at 11h. 12min 48sec.

10. (893) Oliver Tessloff and Victor Turpin at 11h. 25min 48sec.

11. Cachaca II (915) Benoit Sineau and Stéphane Le Diraison at 11h. 32min 38sec.

12. Challenge Espoir Mini Transat (917) Valentin Massu and Melchior Treilland at 12h. 20min 23sec.

13. Pogo Dancer (908) Pavel Roubal and Vedran Kabalin at 12h. 36min 35.

14. Golborne (832) Julien Mizrachi and Thomas Guichard at 12h. 50min 04sec.

15. Uniflow Marine (916) Stéphane Gressand and Alexandre Faidy at 12h. 58min 14sec.

16. Toto (935) James shead and Frederico Fornaro at 13h 45min 10sec.

17. Artelia (591) Marta Guemes and Didac Costa at 13h 45min 24sec.

18. Cabinand Rivault Nineuil – Enedis (892) Luc Giros and Pierre Baptiste Pion at 13h 50min 30sec.

19. Coco (866) Victor Barriquand and Maxime Miegebielle at 13h 58min 22sec.

20. Trebunnec (821) Loïc Fagherazzi and Vincent Madern at 14h. 09min 23sec.

21. Léopard (926) Guillaume Lecointre and Bastien Aumont at 14h 17min 44sec.

22. Patapain (896) Bertrand Saint-Supery and Adrien Bernard at 14h 35min 02sec.

23. White Sails (550) Kevin Tritschler and Jean-Louis Couedel at 15h 14min 22sec.

24. Manu Poki and les Biotechs (504) Elodie Pedron and Frédéric Bazin at 15h 53min 57sec.

25. Kalaona (824) Yann Burkhalter and Fabienne Burkhalter at 15h 55min 48sec.

26. Mini Doc (732) Lina Rixgens and Sverre Reinke at 16h 33min 38sec.

27. Val Je Velik (602) Slobodan Velikic and Sandi Misiraca at 16h 37min 21sec.

28. Jolly Roger (538) Massimo Ciccarelli and Stéfano Paltrinieri at 18h 56min 14sec.

29. Pandline-Hedefyelken (552) Ediz Onen and Marc Miro at 19h 34min 35sec.

30. Les Poupoules (879) Mathieu Bourdais and Jean-Noël Heraud at 19h 54min 27sec.

31. Mademoiselle Iodée (660) Julien Hatin and Emmanuel Chauvand at 22h 29min 03sec.

32. Salt (919) Sascha Bade and Michael Hoefgen at 23h 18min 26sec.

33. Pawan (250) Matthieu Lacharme and Guillaume Bapst on Friday 23 June at 00h 02min 02sec.

34. (627) Andrea Pawlotzki and Federico Cuciuc at 03h 17min 02sec.

35. Lendur (470) DNF.

36. Orafol-Haya (921) DNC.

Photo: Simon Jourdan

Mini-Fastnet: Emile Henri the winner in the Production category

Thursday 22 June

Ahead of the pack since Land’s End, they have given it their all and have landed a well-deserved victory. Emile Henri (895), on which Erwan Le Draoulec and Clarisse Cremer demonstrated expert seamanship, crossed the finishing line at 10h.39min.00sec. What a fantastic success in such a top-level regatta! The young duo made the Production category’s leading skippers bite the dust and brilliantly repelled repeated attacks from their tough opponents, whose pressure on Emile Henri was constant.



Photos: Simon Jourdan

Mini-Fastnet: Ranking update in PROTO.

Times at which the competitors crossed the finishing line:

1. (865) Ian Lipinski and David Raison on Wednesday 21 June at 23h. 52min. 19sec.

2. (716) Romain Bolzinger and Julien Bourgeois on Thursday 22 June at 04h. 33min. 07sec.

3. Lillienthal (934) Joerg Riechers and Robert Stanjek at 05h. 22min. 28sec.

4. Eight Cube – Acryline (888) Simon Koster and Axel Trehin at 05h. 28min. 47sec.

5. Sideral (931) Andrea Fornaro and Oliver Bravo de Laguna at 06h. 08min. 29sec.

6. Ropeye (787) Sébastien Pebelier and Allessandro Torresani at 08h. 27min. 15sec.

7. Mille et un sourires (667) Thibault Michelin and Pierre Denjean at 08h. 59min. 15sec.

8. Région Guadeloupe (788) Kéni Piperol and Julien Hereu at 10h. 18min. 32 sec.

9. Roll my chicken (679) Aurélien Poisson and Lucas Montagne at 10h. 23min. 42sec.

10. Destination île de Ré (759) Antoine Cornic and Laurent Cornic at 11h. 17min 37sec.

11. Hinano (335) Jonathan Chodkiewiez and Jay Thompson at 11h. 53min 36sec.

12. Lore (348) Dominik Lenk and Radec Kowalczyk at 12h 45min 22sec.

13. (614) Fredo Guerin and Henri Duval at 13h 14min 34sec.

14. April Marine (650) Clément Machandel and Antoine Perrin at 13h 32min 59sec.

15. Coba2 (630) Pierre Moizan and Florian Mausy at 14h 32min 20sec.

16. Ixblues vamonos (412) Dorel Nacou and Nicolas Marchand at 15h 04min 32sec.

17.  Akali (316) Oriol Pujol Orgemi and Jordi Garriga Turon at 15h 32min 50sec.

18. Les bouchons d’ espoir Côtes d’ Armor (291) Eric Jezegou and Denis Aventurier at 17h 00min 05sec.

19. Adrenaline (346) Edgar Byczek and Tom Byczek at 17h 34min 37sec.

20. Petit citron Vert (184) Christian Jacquelin and Jean-Alex Gautier at 19h 28min 41sec.

21. C2O (395) Marine Feuerstein and Hanns Bergmann at 19h 38min 04sec.

22. Stenella Racing (392) Marcel Schwager and Andreas Hanakamp at 22h 58min 28sec.

23. Bleeding Cowboy (624) Nathalie Devouge and David Allamelou at 23h 05min 14sec.

24. Bon mais pas un rond (800). DNF.

25. VMax (419). DNF.

26.  Mini-Skirt (254). DNF).

Photo: Simon Jourdan