A beautiful start in the early morning


The tows for the race start scheduled for 08:00  begin under a bright, cool dawn. The last ones to leave the harbour struggle to reach the start line in a very light wind, so the start is delayed by a quarter of an hour… but miraculously, all the boats leave the start, so there are 170 skippers taking on  the Fastnet adventure! Newly arrived for  the Mini race and former winners of the Mini-Transat, it could be a hard fight on the course!

The start is due west, crosswind, speed is the key and the Protos are very quickly at the head of the fleet. We find Laure Galley and Alexandre Demange on the 1048 in first position. For the Series, the ranking overlaps a lot more, in the first ones we count amongst  others the 910, with Jean Cruse and Tanguy Bourroulec, who already has a great record in the Mini class, the 1009 with Titouan Quiviger and Maxime Abgrall and the 1007 Team Asi with Nicolas Dupard and Damien Fleury, who remain quite steady in  first place at the end of the day. There’s about a 5 hour gap between the first and the last of the fleet at about 21:00, so about 13 hours after the start. The 747 Proto dropped out due to a problem in the rigging. A good 15 knot NNW breeze is forecast for the night, easing off at the end of the night.


The excitement of the departure of the Mini Fastnet is  building!

Active day today on the pontoons, between the Prologue, the last repairs, the race briefing and the welcome drink, the skippers must take care not to get too tired because the tows start around 5 a.m. the next morning, for 4 to 6 days of sailing in the English Channel and the Celtic Sea.
 The prologue took place between 12 and 2 p.m. today on a banana course 1.5 nautical miles long between the two buoys, under a radiant sun and a north-westerly wind not exceeding 10 knots.  No damages  to report.  But some skippers returned before the end of the Prologue, pressed for time and the last finishing touches to be done on their boat.  This is the case, for example, of Marie Gendron and Marine Legendre on the brand new 1050 Léa Nature prototype, built by the skipper Marie in 9 months and launched recently, this will be this boat’s first race and “there’s still some work to do on the seamanship and fittings before the start of the race” exclaims Marie as she moors her Mini to the pontoon.
 The start of the regatta at 8 a.m. will be on a straight line, across a north wind of 5 to 10 knots scheduled for Sunday June 12.  Headwinds and ridges hover on the way, some skippers are afraid of getting stuck in the calm.  The passage du four already risks splitting the fleet: headwind and against the current, the passage will be challenging!  A little reminder, Offshore Socialclub will broadcast a live video of the start tomorrow morning, it’s HERE.

The route going to the Fastnet lighthouse is maintained

 A little drizzle and a grey sky overhang Douarnenez today, Friday June 10, 2022. This does not prevent the skippers from finishing their last odds and ends on the boats before going to the Maison de Nautisme to get the racing instructions, given out at  11:00 this morning.
Japanese TV in on the pontoon for de DMG Mori boats and skippers.
The departure is precise: June 12, 08:00 for the initial course.  It will not be a lazy Sunday morning for the skippers or for the volunteers of the Winches Club;  it takes about 3 hours to tow all the boats out of the harbour!  In the meantime, the skippers are taking advantage of still having a connection to do some routing on the computer.  The weather forecast announces a light to moderate north-westerly wind.  It will be, a priori, by tacking that the regatta will begin;  the passage du Four between the island of Ouessant and the coast then passage to the east of the Isles of Scilly before heading for the Fastnet lighthouse.  For the return, which passes to the west of any coast, a ridge, an area without wind, extends to the southwest from the Scilly  Islands and seems to move little.  “Crossing this wall is likely to be long,” says François Jambou.  That said, the weather is quite unstable and can change a lot in the meantime.  Stay tuned!
A dolphin surprised a skipper in the water. Sadly there is no photo…

The Mini Fastnet 2022 gets ready


The start of the 36th edition of the Mini Fastnet is scheduled for Sunday 12th June 2022, in Douarnenez. The pontoons are full of Minis 650, all the registered boats have answered the call and there are 85 boats or 170 skippers preparing for this mythical race. Mythical because they are seeking out  the Fastnet lighthouse in the south of Ireland, 300 nautical miles from Douarnenez and then returning  to the town with three ports. But doubt is hanging over the pontoons, will the course be maintained? In 2021, the Mini Fastnet went south because of the pandemic, this year the skippers hope that the weather will not have the same effect on the course! This 600 nautical mile race is raced in pairs: a skipper who usually owns the boat and a co-skipper.

Marin Le Nours and Matéo Raphalen on the 739.

The co-skipper can be either a former Mini racer, like Benoît Hantzperg, Tanguy Bouroullec and François Jambou, or a friend tempted by this race or a family member, as is the case for Martin Revol on the 835, who invited  his brother to race with him. This family man, after a year and a half of sailing with his kids, devotes his free time to Minis races. “I don’t have the ambition to win, I’m just looking to progress“, says the 40 year old windsurfer.

Marie Gendron on the 1050 wants to take some water off her boat for the stability test.

The regatta currently has about a quarter  prototypes, 12% female participation and several European and international nationalities such as Japan, the United States and Canada. The day before the race, on June 11th, a prologue will be run in the Bay of Douarnenez, to test the boat, the location beacons … and the crews! Indeed, many of the co-skippers have not yet sailed the boat on which they will  race. A light westerly breeze is expected for the Prologue which consists of a small triangle or banana course. “We’ll be on a short course, so we’ll  have to be careful not to damage  the boat before the real race starts” says Romain Gautreau on the 814 Solidarités Internationale. This year, a non-compulsory medical briefing,   and access to the on-board pharmacy is offered to the skippers  by Marine Roland, a sports doctor.

Medical briefing


The Mini Fastnet pre-race phase will take place in the Tréboul harbour.

  • Boat arrivals and free berthing periodfrom Saturday 4th June
  • Start of checks and entry confirmationsTuesday 7th June at 09:00
  • End of security checks: Friday 10th June at 18:00
  • End of registrations: Friday 10th June at 18:00
  • Compulsory Prologue in the Bay of Douarnenez: Saturday 11th June(tests on tracking devices and VHF Checking)
  • Skippers’ reception and buffet: Saturday 11th June
  • Start of the race: Sunday 12th June
  • Race results and awards ceremony: Saturday 18th June
  • End of the free berthing period in the harbour: Sunday 26th June

The Fastnet BXA 2021

After a summery Prologue last Saturday, 82 crews, 137 men and 27 women, set off from Douarnenez on the afternoon of Sunday 13th June, heading south, towards the BXA, still under the great anticyclone that dominated the whole of France. The tension on the line and the desire to fight it out were palpable, so much so that a general reminder  preceded the start to this 35th Mini-Fastnet without the Fastnet.

The passage of the Raz was already a test for some. The lack of wind left some of them stuck just before  the Bay of Audierne. We even wondered if all of them would pass with the tide.

27 women were at the start, and it was they who took the first places on this first night of the race. Chloé Le Bars and Lina Rixgens on the 1007-Association MJ pour l’Enfance in the Series and Nolwen Pébelier with Frédéric Moreau on the prototype 787 – DECOSAIL were leading the race on the morning of June 14th. This was followed by a long and hot day in light downwind conditions to sail down to Yeu. Irina Gracheva and Mickael Ryking moved up to the front of the fleet, while Pierre Le Roy and Cedric Faron took a good option that put them at the head of the race, and 914-Velotrade, 886-HALTOFLAME / ilots.site and 893-Groupe Adre found themselves in the leaders of the Series category for the descent towards the BXA. It was on this descent to the south that Tanguy Bouroullec and Guillaume L’Hostis on the POGOFOILER made up the deficit on the frontrunners, and it was also at this point that the prototypes numbered 12 at  the head of the race, which delighted many.

From Tuesday morning, after the passage of the BXA, the race became a giant speed test over 200 nautical miles to the tip of Brittany. After 17 hours of close-hauled racing, the Chaussée de Sein was a merciless judge and on a bad tack, the 1019 TeamWork prototype, which had resisted its pursuer up to that point, let the POGOFOILER escape and went straight to victory. In the Series, the match was very tight and everyone was watching each other closely  during the ascent to Sein. “We didn’t sleep as much as in a solo race,” said race winners Gaël Ledoux and Julien Pulvé on the 886-HALTOFLAME / ilots.site.

There may not have been a Fastnet, even if some said that the weather at the finish reminded them of it, but even so it was  a really good  race full of adventure and suspense.

Have a great summer and good luck to the chosen  ones in the Mini-Transat 2021.

See you next year!

Translated into English by www.abitrad.fr

At the finish

In the Prototypes, the battle for first and fourth place was close, even very close, between the 787 and the 800 (4th and 5th) skippered by Nolwen Pébelier-Frederic MOREAU and Irina Gracheva-Mickael Ryking, who were only 7 seconds apart. For the leaders, it all came down to the negotiation  of the West  Sein buoy. When POGO FOILER negotiated the approach to the mark much better they managed to open up a gap of more than 4 nautical miles over 1019 TeamWork, which had been leading for most of the race. At the finish, they were separated by an hour. Victor Turpin and Antoine Perrin’s 850-Pays d’Iroise completed the trio after a great race at the front after Yeu.

In the Series, they didn’t give up either, especially on the long 200-nautical mile leg from the BXA, which looked like a speed test. They also had to stay on the ball when they reached the Chaussée de Sein, when the wind and sea became stronger. The conditions were not ideal for the Maxi’s and the podium was taken by the Pogo 3. Exhausted and happy to have arrived after a suspenseful race, Gaël Ledoux, accompanied by Julien Pulvé, took his first victory (in Series) on his boat 886-HALTOFLAME / ilots.site. The 893-Groupe Adre – of Cecile Andrieu and Remi Aubrun and the 914-Velotrade of Brieuc Lebec and Charles D’Orange made 2nd and 3rd respectively, 33 and 36 minutes behind the leaders after 3 days and 4 hours of racing.

The race continues! And the final boats are expected at best tomorrow afternoon.

(photo of the first 3 crews)

Translated into English by www.abitrad.fr

969 POGO FOILER first

After a hard fight with the 1019 TeamWork, the 969 POGO FOILER made the difference at the end of the course by leaving their opponent more than an hour behind. It all came down to the passage of the Chaussée de Sein. The beginning of the race up to the BXA seemed quite calm to Tanguy and Guillaume although they had to make up for the time lost when they passed Yeu. It was on the way upwind that things got tense: “There was a lot of suspense, we didn’t want to let go of anything“. At Basse Vieille, they broke their bowsprit. They arrived a little burnt out but happy in the warm rain after 3 days 15 hours 25′ 05s of racing.

Translated into English by www.abitrad.fr

The Chaussée de Sein

It was yesterday at around 22:30 that the 1019 – TeamWork and the 969-POGOFOILER crossed paths, 20 nautical  miles below the Occidentale de Sein. It was at this point that Tanguy Bouroullec and Guillaume L’Hostis took the lead. They then passed  the western buoy  of the Chaussée de Sein just before 03:00  this morning with a 45 minute lead. At 04:30, 22 nautical miles from the finish, they were doing  almost 10 knots with a lead of almost 10 nautical miles. Pierre Le Roy and Cedric Faron are only doing  7.5 knots… a mechanical problem?

Behind them, the 850-Pays d’Iroise is well placed to keep its third position, followed by the 800-Irina Gracheva Racing, the 787-DECOSAIL and the 930-Cassiopee.

With 50 nautical miles to go, the 886-HALTOFLAME / ilots.site remains the leader of the series with a lead of less than 2 nautical miles over its pursuers, the 914-Velotrade, the 920-SIGNFORCOM and the 966-LES ALPHAS and 993-EdiliziAcrobatica one mile further down. Negotiation  of the Occidentale de Sein will be crucial for this group as well.

Translated into English by www.abitrad.fr