Will Unlucky Romain Try Again?

No matter how hard you try or how much you want something to happen, occasionally it simply won’t work out. Romain Mouchel has made this experience twice already. His intentions to complete the Mini Transat have been shattered in 2013 and 2015. Here is his story so far.

Romain Mouchel enjoying the sunshineRomain has been sailing as long as he can remember. The range of boats he gained sailing experience on is vast, from Lasers to F-18 and 49ers and yachts. At the age of 16 he set himself a challenging target. He wanted to fulfil a childhood dream, race in the Classe Mini and complete the Mini Transat. While in his last year in university, Romain decided to not do things by halves and chartered the Mini 346 for an entire season. And what a boost to his offshore racing as well as single-handed sailing experience it was! Continue reading “Will Unlucky Romain Try Again?”

Marcus Calling It Quits

Part-time has become fulltime, and this certainly had not been the plan. Marcus Demuth has called off his campaign for the Mini Transat 2017.

Marcus on his Classe Mini TipTop "Brooklyn Express"Marcus has very well diagnosed and dissected the underlying problems while sailing in the past couple of months. Unhappiness while being on the boat has increased steadily. Constant questions on the progress of his Mini Transat campaign made it harder instead of easier. And not feeling well at all during sailing time had been the very final decision point.
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Lina Hooked On Mini Transat

“Wow” is the short version. Lina Rixgens spent the weekend in Douarnenez, soaking in the pre-race atmosphere of the Mini Transat. Her goal is to participate in the 2017 edition of the Mini Transat. Lina has sent me an email recently, and I cannot help but assume that she would have loved to be on one of the yachts that have left Douarnenez last Saturday.

Mini Transat 2015 Lina Rixgens embracing it all
Mini Transat 2015 Lina Rixgens embracing it all

Lina Rixgens is keen to get her own boat so she can start training properly. Her goal is to take part in the Mini Transat 2017. Up until then she has already plans for a rather tight and exhausting training and race calendar.

Just to be clear on this: She is not a novice sailor with a little girl’s dream. She is very experienced and internationally active in the class Europe, sailing and taking part also in World Championships.

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Marcus On Part-Time Classe Mini Break

some Classe Mini boats in LorientHis ultimate goal is the Mini Transat 2017. The first steps and nautical miles in Classe Mini races have not been easy. Marcus Demuth, however, knows how to fight and will certainly keep going.

I’ve had the chance to exchange a couple of emails with Marcus recently, in between dentist appointments, work on his Mini and trying to find an apartment. Sorted and kind of structured, here is a brief interview with him.

Marcus, you have lived on board Brooklyn Express for quite some time now. How do you cope with (or enjoy) the basic living? And are you not a wee bit envious of folks having a good rest in a camper or an apartment?

I enjoyed living on Brooklyn Express … well, at least in the beginning, later on I simply didn’t mind. I am now in Nantes in a “real” apartment (rented by a Mini sailor) and I feel like living in a palace. Continue reading “Marcus On Part-Time Classe Mini Break”

Why Do You Like Sailing?

Sometimes a question gets fired into your comfort zone, and the first idea of an answer is something like “That’s easy, because… ehm… it’s obvious!” That’s what’s happened recently when a friend posed a very simple question. “Why do you like sailing?”

sailing into the sunsetSo, what is it about that sailing business? Apart from a perfect chance to get rid of as much money as you can afford – and sometimes even a lot more than that – why can many sailors simply not get enough of sailing? I’ll try to put into words the first couple of thoughts that crossed my mind after I had been asked that question. Why do I like sailing? Continue reading “Why Do You Like Sailing?”

Lina And Dominik Back From Mini Fastnet

Lina Rixgens and Dominik Lenk are back from the Mini Fastnet 2015. The event did not go as planned on Dominik’s prototype 348. But especially for Lina it was a great experience indeed.

Lina on board Mini 348 (c Simon Jourdain)
Lina on board Mini 348 (c Simon Jourdain)

“This was not my last Classe Mini regatta!” Those were Lina’s final words after a recap of the Mini Fastnet 2015. After a more than exciting week in Douarnenez and racing towards the Fastnet Rock she has not been disillusioned by the not so successful finish of the regatta.

“My first impression of the Classe Mini:”, Lina writes on her website, “extremely nice and helpful sailors, “bonjour” everywhere, very easy to get talking to fellow sailors. And all of a sudden the ‘big names folks’ of sailing, so far known from pictures and reports only, are right there in front of me. They are all smiling, talking to everyone, and being ever so nice to everyone else. Unbelievable!” Continue reading “Lina And Dominik Back From Mini Fastnet”

Lina Rixgens Mini Transat Campaign Picking Up Speed

Lina Rixgens has kicked off her Mini Transat CampaignShe has talked about it extensively already, and now she really gets going. Lina Rixgens gets sailing practice on Classe Mini racers, and her Mini Transat Campaign 2017 is certainly picking up speed.

Lina is fighting the usual Classe Mini and Mini Transat fight (at least it seems to be true for most participants). The sailing itself is only a small part of the entire Mini Transat campaign. Getting sponsors, funding and other supporters on board to actually make it to the starting line is taking up most of the time.

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From Sea Kayak To Classe Mini: Marcus Demuth

He’s paddled his sea kayak around Britain and Ireland in record time. He has then given up a professional sea kayak career for sailing in the Classe Mini. Now he is living on board his “Brooklyn Express”, a 6,50m long TipTop, getting ready for the Mini Transat 2017. Here is a very interesting (and entertaining) article by Marcus Demuth.

Marcus on his Classe Mini TipTop "Brooklyn Express"
Marcus on his Classe Mini TipTop “Brooklyn Express”

My name is Marcus, and I was instantly drawn to Hubert’s blog both because of its content and his sense of humor.

I was born in Frankfurt/Main, and was a professional sea kayaker before I purchased a Classe Mini 6.50 series boat a little more than a year ago. I hoped that some of my “skills” as a sea kayaker would translate towards sailing a Mini. However, it quickly became apparent that sailing a Classe Mini boat has with kayaking as much in common as running around a christmas tree with a tin drum. Continue reading “From Sea Kayak To Classe Mini: Marcus Demuth”

Mini Transat – Dream Or Nightmare?

Braveheart or Madman? I am very likely not the only one who gets odd looks when talking about the Mini Transat. Depending on whom you are talking to, reactions vary from verbal shoulder padding to secretly calling a mental home.

Classe Mini 6.50 boat (D2V2)
Classe Mini 6.50 boat (D2V2)

The boat is 6,50 metres long, the Atlantic a lot larger; waves are (not only) sometimes higher than the boat is long; in addition to that, the singlehanded sailors are short of sleep for the entire race. If one person did that once – ok, it would be a challenge and an adventure. But every other year close to a hundred sailors race across the Atlantic to compete in the Mini Transat. Why? And: why not?

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Young Female Sailor Targets Mini Transat 2017

She is a young female sailor, she is talented, and she is focused. Lina Rixgens is aiming to become the first German female sailor to complete the Mini Transat. And well on the way she is indeed.

Lina Rixgens - (c) Andreas Jacobsen
Lina Rixgens – (c) Andreas Jacobsen

She will be all by herself. On a boat smaller than some cars. Racing across the Atlantic. She knows that it will be her toughest race to date – and that is one of the great positives about Lina: She is realistic in seeing what she is getting herself into.

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Costs Mini Transat Campaign

The Mini Transat is one of the most exciting and challenging races you can take part in. The big question is: How much money do you need to sail over the finish line? What are the costs for a Mini Transat campaign?

Before going into monetary details, a couple of important assumptions need to be made:
– this is amateur’s talk (i.e. not a professional, fulltime campaign)
– for a production (series) boat
– for simply getting there (i.e. finishing)
– and with a very, very conservative budget calculation.

From a sailor’s point of view…

the Mini Transat is one of the ultimate challenges and adventures. Single handed racing across the Atlantic. In a boat just 6,5 metres long. And anyone can participate as long as qualification has been passed (and that is achievable when concentrating on it). In addition to that, it has been the “cradle” and starting point for many successful ocean racing professionals.

From anyone else’s point of view…

the Mini Transat is a near crazy event with boats way too small for an Atlantic crossing, and everyone taking part is more or less on his way to finish his days amongst the living.

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