Safety On Board 732 mini doc

The Classe Mini has done a lot to improve safety on board their minis. Sailing and racing on the Atlantic has become less lethal by the year. The list of safety measures on board a mini is quite extensive. Have a look!

732 mini doc - aerial view - safety measures - c blondsign by Eike Schurr
732 mini doc – aerial view – safety measures – c blondsign by Eike Schurr

Ever since the first boats of Classe Mini have started sailing, quite a few sailors have lost their life. Especially in the early Classe Mini days. No big surprise, really. They are tiny boats racing on and across the Atlantic, only 6,5m long. Over the last years, Classe Mini has introduced many safety measures to make sailing a Mini much safer. Fatal incidents hardly ever occur nowadays.

Good news indeed, not only for Lina Rixgens. Lina has put together an overview of the various safety items on her Mini 732 mini doc. I find it quite amazing how much stuff fits on such a small boat – and I am not even talking about those seven plus sails used for sailing. Continue reading “Safety On Board 732 mini doc”

Andreas Deubel’s Mini Transat Campaign

Andreas Deubel will complete his Mini Transat campaign in 2017.
Oh no, not another brief portrait of a Classe Mini sailor… I can assure you: it is not. I have briefly talked to Andreas and we have exchanged lengthy emails. Why am I writing about him? Because his background and especially his challenges are just so very close to my very own.

joys of sailing a mini (c andreasdeubel.com)
joys of sailing a mini (c andreasdeubel.com)

Just to clarify this upfront: “close to my own challenges” does not mean I intend to sail the Mini Transat. Or any other adventure like this one. As of today, that is.

No, I was rather referring to time juggling all sorts of activities. Sailing, training, work and – most importantly – family. How Andreas Deubel has done that in the past is something I wanted to know. So here we go, the result of our chats and emails.

Continue reading “Andreas Deubel’s Mini Transat Campaign”

Lina Wins Wehring & Wolfes Offshore Youth Award

Last week, the German Offshore Youth Award has been handed over. Lina Rixgens had received an invitation for that very official looking ceremony – and won.

Lina Rixgens - winner of the Wehring & Wolfes Offshore Youth AwardLina has sailed my boat, mini doc, all of last year to qualify for the Mini Transat. She took part in various regattas, sailed in winds up to 8 Bft. and in addition to that she also continued with her medical studies. This year she will have a break from her studies and concentrate on sailing in Classe Mini regattas. She is keen to start training with her training group in La Rochelle – and I am keen to finally go sailing with her.

German Offshore Award

Anyway, in January Lina received an invitation to join the celebrations for the German Offshore Award. This award has been around for ten years now. Its intention is to honour the achievements during offshore regattas by German owned boats. It has been initiated by the German Offshore Owners Association, and the Senate of Hamburg is hosting the award ceremony – in the venerable surroundings of the Hamburg Town Hall. Continue reading “Lina Wins Wehring & Wolfes Offshore Youth Award”

Lina Needs To Wait A Little Longer

The (first) wait is over. Today was the day lots of sailors had so eagerly expected. The first version of the Mini Transat 2017 starters’ line-up has been published.

Lina Rixgens has kicked off her Mini Transat CampaignLina Rixgens has successfully passed all qualification requirements for the Mini Transat 2017. She has enrolled on the very first day the list opened, and since then it has been a waiting game. And the wait needs to continue, unfortunately.

Today the organisers of the Mini Transat 2017 published the first version of the official starting line-up. Lina is on position 5 of the waiting list – not ideal and, of course, it would have been better to be a confirmed starter today already. But at least she is on the list at all. Continue reading “Lina Needs To Wait A Little Longer”

Lina Qualified For Mini Transat 2017

What a year this has been – and now she’s done it. Lina Rixgens just completed all required qualifications to be able to enrol for the Mini Transat 2017.

Lina and Sverre after Mare Nostrum race (c Andres Mata)
Lina and Sverre after Mare Nostrum race (c Andres Mata)

The start of this year’s sailing season was all but ideal for Lina. First race not finished, severe weather meaning most of the race fleet missed the time limit. A flu had Lina down for the second race, start not possible at all. After that, however, she really got going.

Continue reading “Lina Qualified For Mini Transat 2017”

Your Chance: Sailing On A Pogo 2

Have you ever dreamt of a pretty cool ride on an even cooler sailing boat? This is your chance: get onto a Classe Mini sailing yacht (Pogo 2) and race on the Atlantic. Lina Rixgens will take you out for a day you won’t forget.

approaching La Rochelle (c Lina Rixgens)
approaching La Rochelle (c Lina Rixgens)

No matter whether you are a novice or an experienced sailor, this is a great chance for something unusual. Spend a day on Classe Mini “732 mini doc” and see what it is like to sail on the Atlantic in a (more than safe) nutshell like this.

Starting point of your tour will be mini doc’s current home base, La Rochelle. Depending on tide, general weather forecast and wind Lina will plan (with you) the day’s approximate route. After some additional thorough preparation for the boat and yourself you will head off – and more than very likely have a grand time. Continue reading “Your Chance: Sailing On A Pogo 2”

Polo Shirt For Lina’s Mini Transat Campaign

What on earth is that, just another polo shirt? No, it’s not. It’s a statement. A statement for saying “support this young lady on her quest to complete the Mini Transat 2017”. Would you like to make that statement as well?

polo shirt Lina Rixgens Mini Transat Campaign - frontInitially I thought this is an idea born to fail. Who would want to walk around in a polo shirt crammed with logos? After a brief design session with a local printer I changed my mind – and here is the result. A polo shirt where the original colour of navy blue can still be seen, logos are not too big and at the same time still fully present. Plus, two URLs on the back (well, they had to go somewhere and “inside” was not really an option).

Is this a great polo shirt for Lina’s Mini Transat campaign?

What do you think, does it look like a winner polo shirt? Or the exact opposite? I really like it. And that is also the reason why we have decided to offer it to anybody interested in getting one (‘we’ meaning Lina and me; read more about Lina’s Mini Transat campaign). The catch is that we won’t be able to sell it for small money and ship it to anywhere on this planet. So if you would like to support Lina’s Mini Transat campaign plus get the polo shirt, then there are (a minimum of) two ways to do that: Continue reading “Polo Shirt For Lina’s Mini Transat Campaign”

Still Needed By Lina For Her Mini Transat Campaign

Hardly ever do I ask you to have a closer look and share articles with your friends. This post here is different, and maybe you know someone who knows someone who knows someone… Lina Rixgens is still looking for support in various areas of her Mini Transat campaign.

Lina has come a long way since her very first thoughts and ideas about participating in the Mini Transat (here is a small part of her story so far). She has, however, still quite a few tasks ahead of her. With a boat now available things have moved in the right direction. I am sure you are well aware that simply having a boat does help – but it is not everything. Lina has produced a list of things “still needed”, and if you (or a friend of a friend…) can help her and tick off one of those below it would bring her another big step closer to sailing and finishing the Mini Transat.

Please spread the word, share with your friends and make a young lady very happy… thank you! Continue reading “Still Needed By Lina For Her Mini Transat Campaign”

Lina’s First Classe Mini Solo Regatta

Sailing single-handed is one thing, racing solo on the Atlantic on a small boat you hardly know is something quite different. Despite having had a couple of days training only Lina’s handled the first two regattas pretty well.

Lina Rixgens first single handed regatta on Pogo2 mini doc
(c) Lina Rixgens

To say Lina Rixgens is new to solo regattas would not really be true. She is a World Championship-experienced sailor in class Europe. However, sailing on a Classe Mini Ocean racing yacht is a different story. Just after Easter she has started sailing on mini doc, a Pogo 2 she will be training and racing on for the next two years up until the Mini Transat 2017.

First regatta for Lina as a skipper in Classe Mini

Lina had a couple of days to find her way around her boat when the first regatta came up. It was the 150nm “Bretagne Sud Mini Lorient” (BSM), a two-handed race starting in Lorient. 76 Minis at the starting line, winds up to 40kn and a very tight time limit.

Well, only about a third of all series boats managed to cross the finish line in time. Most of the finishers were brand new boats, mini doc is not one of them. Lina’s partner on this storm training session was Katrina Ham, an Australien Mini-sailor with thousands of miles Classe Mini experience (including Mini Transat).

Continue reading “Lina’s First Classe Mini Solo Regatta”

Hansajolle – Back To The Roots

I have sailed on quite a few different types of dinghies. Now a planned tour with a Hansajolle on the river Elbe had me wondering whether this really was a good idea. The Elbe can be quite nasty, especially when tide runs against wind. The Hansajolle, however, had been planned and constructed with those challenging conditions in mind.

yes, that's me at the tiller
yes, that’s me at the tiller

With “back to the roots” I don’t really want to imply that sailing on very old or ancient type of boats is my cup of tea. The reference is more in the direction of keeping it simple, reliable and easy to handle. This is something that always comes to my mind when sailing with small boats. With the exception of Classe Mini racers, of course.

Continue reading “Hansajolle – Back To The Roots”

Chance Encounter: Two People, One Goal

A very long time ago (January last year, actually, but it feels a lot longer) I spent quite a few hours browsing the web. My goal was to find some information on the costs of a Mini Transat campaign. I managed to pull some data together and came up with a pretty neat cost estimate. That, however, is a different story. While doing my research I stumbled upon a couple of Classe Mini sailors’ websites, one of them being Lina Rixgens. What a goal she has set herself, and what a story it has been so far!

Lina Rixgens enjoying the first day of sailing with Classe Mini 732The very first information I found was a flyer for Lina’s Mini Transat campaign. Her project idea sounded pretty cool. I was indeed a very happy person after she had rather quickly replied to an email and answered a couple of questions. Soon after I published a first article about Lina and her plans for a Mini Transat campaign. But – who is she, what’s her background?

In brief – Lina Rixgens and her amazing goal, the Mini Transat 2017

  • young medical student, German, living in Belgium;
  • has been sailing for more than half of her life, including Optimist, Europe. Has crossed the Atlantic with “High Seas High School”. Also, has raced around the Baltic Sea with ‘Haspa Hamburg’, a Judel/Vrolijk designed long distance cruiser-racer;
  • regatta-proven, including World Championships in class Europe;
  • highly organized, with a clear view on her goals and aiming to reach them asap (that is my personal view, though it may sound like taken from a consultant’s CV).

Continue reading “Chance Encounter: Two People, One Goal”

Come On, Rainbow Pirates, Keep On Going!

The “Rainbow Pirates“ had quite a crazy day way back at the beginning of March. The result: a 2.050,- € donation! Another great step for the team of “Meer bewegen”. They can now continue their challenging task of getting disabled folks out onto the water and sailing.

"Meer bewegen" team picture swimming pool
“Meer bewegen” team picture swimming pool

“Pirate Party” sounds like a lot of fun, and it was indeed for dozens of kids and their parents. The team of “Meer bewegen” (the Rainbow Pirates) also had a couple of goals for this party day. In details:
– the happiness of and fun for all those kids having turned up (location: swimming pool)
– reach a specific donation target (location: www)
– have quite a bit of fun themselves (location: both of the above).
Success rate of those goals: 100%.

What an amazing and crazy day it had been for them! Loads of children turned up and wanted to get onto “White Pearl”, the RS Venture with sailability kit. No chance of counting the number of times the White Pearl crossed the pool (hopelessly overloaded with eager sailors-to-be). Very happy and excited faces all around encouraged everyone involved to keep going not only all day long, but rather with the entire idea and concept of “inclusive sailing”.

Continue reading “Come On, Rainbow Pirates, Keep On Going!”

The Race Is On… Lina’s Got A Boat

Woohee, she’s got a boat! Lina Rixgens is now ready to tackle the intensive and challenging Classe Mini regatta scene. She will sail on 732, a Pogo 2, and is well on her way to close in on her main target: the Mini Transat 2017.

Lina Rixgens all smiles on 732 first sailingFor more than a year she had talked to sponsors. At the same time Lina had looked at boats, trying to figure out how she could get out onto the water with and on a Mini all by herself. As mentioned in previous articles, she does not only want to sail around for leisure and pleasure. Her main objective is to complete the Mini Transat 2017 as the first German female sailor.

Things look a lot brighter now for this young sailor. Lina has already been on her first sailing weekend in Lorient and has enjoyed a marvellous couple of days on 732 mini doc, a Pogo 2. Where did this boat come from, and what are her immediate plans?

Continue reading “The Race Is On… Lina’s Got A Boat”

Classe Mini Sailors, What Is Your Biggest Frustration?

Sailing projects not completed, a sailing career abandoned, agony high instead of spirits rocketing. A question that keeps coming back to me: What frustrates you most with sailing in the Classe Mini?

gimme speed... Classe Mini 6.50 (D2V2)I have followed the Classe Mini rather closely in the last 18 months or so, and despite successful stories of winners and finishers, of smiles and laughter everywhere, there are quite a few sailors feeling extremely down. ‘Feeling down’ meaning they are in the middle of a major crisis. Lack of funding, injuries, race calendar, weather, boat size, boat handling, the list could go on.

Those are only a couple of the reasons I have found when looking at Classe Mini sailors’ websites or social media entries. What a disaster! And that after so much bravery they had shown in the past.

Continue reading “Classe Mini Sailors, What Is Your Biggest Frustration?”

Budget Mini Transat 2015 – Plus Some Other Insights

A very fast Mini Transat 2015 is history. Glory and tragedy, as usual so close together. This is not only a summary regarding my questions to those sailors on their Mini Transat budget. It is an article about an extraordinary experience.

before the start of the Mini Transat 2015 (c) Lina Rixgens
before the start of the Mini Transat 2015 (c) Lina Rixgens

I have watched and followed the joy, relief, smiles, parties, tears, pains, laughs and friendship of this Classe Mini family. And it has been pure bliss. The sailor in me had been a bit envious during the final preparation stages. Even though this is just one regatta out of many it is a fascinating event indeed: race and sail across the Atlantic in a 6,5m yacht (well, “yacht”, behaving like a dinghy…).

Anyway, one of the things I love doing is checking with some folks (i.e. experts) whether a mere theoretical research of mine makes sense or not. Back in January 2015 I put some numbers in a spreadsheet and came out with a EUR budget-figure which would get you to the starting line of a Mini Transat. All theory, of course. And there were mainly two ways to figure out whether the results of this research were kind of useful or not:

  1. Run a Mini Transat campaign myself and see which budget I would need
  2. Check with participants and let them tell their story.

Without going into too much detail, option 2 was the only one at this point in time which would bring me closer to an answer. Continue reading “Budget Mini Transat 2015 – Plus Some Other Insights”