« I’ve known 10 Presidents of the Republic, 19 -29 February- and I am 27029 days old. I often celebrate my birthday in Douarnenez »
Joël Gaté, a rugby referee, discovered sailing because his children raced optimists at les Sables d’Olonne. Wanting to watch them during regattas, he found that the committee boat had the best view. This was how he started learning the regulations of sailing races. One thing led to another and he’s now been a gauger for Class 8, Mum 30, Class’40 and checker/gauger for the Vendée Globe from 1989 to 2012.
A regular on the pontoons of Tréboul (especially in June) Joël has been the gauger on the Mini Class since he retired from primary school teaching in 2002. He distinctly remembers the first boat which passed under his inquisitive eye, the first Pogo 2. Since then, he has assessed nearly 600 mini and the criteria of the Class which then amounted to 2 pages are now issued to skippers as a 120 page booklet. This booklet contains all the regulations which the Mini and its skipper are subject to as well as the unwritten but specific one which must never be forgotten: rule J26. Although mysterious, it’s essential. Once each security check has been completed the gauger must quench his thirst!
« I saw the first Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy and lots of wonderful things, and great people. »
Happy birthday Joël !
We’re 4 days from the Prologue and 5 days from the start of the mythical Mini-Fastnet. Right now there are 84 boats registered. Due to Covid-19, the race could not be held last year and we have to go back to 2019 to remind ourselves of Axel Tréhin and his partner Thomas Coville’s great win on Tartine the 945. Tartine will be there with Fabio Muzzolini, 2020 winner of the MAP Trophy. But this year it’s Tanguy Bouroullec who’s the big favourite. He risks annihilating the competition. But a race is never finished until the finish line has been crossed !
For the series, the field is open and there’s no lack of challengers, including : Léo Debiesse, winner of the Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy, the Italian Alberto Riva, already winner in 2019 alongside Ambroggio Beccaria, the Cloarec-Jézéquel pair who may well spice things up and Hugo Dhallenne on the 979.
Rendez-vous Saturday afternoon on 12th June for the Prologue parade. The race departure is planned for Sunday 13th June at 10:00.
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.
35th MINI FASTNET
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
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.