Category Archives: News


Video briefing accessible on line on Mini-Fastnet web site from Friday 11th June (end of afternoon).

Saturday 12th June :

Start of towing – 10:00

Start of the race – 12:00

Prologue reserved to skipper and co-skipper.

Check of trackers during the prologue.

The captain’s age

« 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 !

Great start for the Mini-Fastnet

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.

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 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.