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.

The Measurement- Class Mini

At the awards ceremony last Friday, Axel Tréhin, winner of the 15th Trophy Marie-Agnès Péron, pointed out: “The Mini Class rules are pretty well done, look at us, our three boats (the 945, 865, 800 that finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively) are quite different and yet, there is a hell of a battle at every race! Indeed, the first two arrived less than 5 minutes apart last Thursday.

The Measurement, supervised by Joël Gâté assisted by Annabelle Moreau, is a set of measures and rules that each boat must follow to be admitted to start at the Mini races. First established in 1994 by the board of directors of the Class Mini, the set of rules addresses both performance and safety issues.

The basic principle is that a Mini boat must fit in a box of 6.50 m x 3.00 m x 14.00 m for the proto and 6.50 m x 3.00 m x 12.00 m for the series.

The Mini is a class to experiment and bring innovation to the field of offshore racing, which sometimes leads to funny situations. During checks, we have seen some having to shorten their booms, another one obliged to race with a reefed mainsail, a boat having to set up pumps without connected hoses. The most extreme case was a proto boat, launched a year earlier, which had to been cut in two to expand it. The most spectacular test during these checks is the righting. Lying on the side, we measure, at the head of the mast, whether the force is sufficient to self-righten the boat.

The Class Mini Rule is a set of rules and a clever mix to balance safety, competitiveness and innovation.

The 34th edition of the Mini-Fastnet

The 15th Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy ended last Friday with the consecration of the two winners, Ambrogio Beccaria in series and Axel Tréhin for the prototype category, at the awards ceremony.

Ambrogio Beccaria on the “Pogo 3” (943) series has won for the second consecutive time, during a race shortened this year by about half due to weather conditions. Axel Tréhin finally won his first victory on board of Tartine, his plan Lombard, finishing less than 5 minutes before François Jambou. It was a challenging race where it was not possible to let go of the helm and the slightest error had direct consequences.

Monday, June 10 opens the 34th edition of Mini-Fastnet.

Organized since 2002 by the Winches Club from Douarnenez, the Mini-Fastnet is The legendary race! 600 miles, 4 days and 4 nights, duo, through the Scilly Islands, up to the Fastnet Lighthouse in the south of Ireland, then back to Douarnenez.

Program of the week:

Monday, June 10: Class rules for several boats throughout the day.

Chaffoil, the 969, plan verdier à foil, which is just coming from Pogo Structures shipyard, is eagerly awaited.

Tuesday, June 11: Security checks are opened.

Saturday, June 15: Prologue Michèle Marchais.

All competitors participate in a regatta on a short course in the Bay of Douarnenez.

This prologue is named this year as a tribute to Michèle Marchais, who died last fall. Member of the Winches Club since 2005, she has long been the secretary, very active in the local community and involved in the maritime world. She deeply misses in the association.

Sunday, June 16th: Departure of the Mini-Fastnet.

At the forefront:

On the proto side, the duo Axel Tréhin and Thomas Coville immediately attract attention. While Pascal Fievet will join François Jambou on the 865, Erwan Le Méné will leave his 800 to the well-known duo Ian Lipinski and Benoit Hantzperg.

On the series side, Ambrogio Beccaria will be present to defend his title. On Pogo 3 also, Amelie Grassi will take the start of the race with Davy Beaudart on the 944. The “Nez ronds” of Hugo Dhallenne on the 979 and Paul Cloarec accompanied by Jean-Marie Jezequel on the 951 will also be present.

At the moment there are 84 registered boats, 59 series and 25 prototypes.