More German sailors are currently preparing for the next mini-transat than ever before: They want to compete in the legendary one-handed regatt from France to the Caribbean in autumn 2021. Then again 80 soloists will try to conquer the Atlantic in 6.5 meter short deep sea boats.
There is also LinRixgens, 25, from Cologne, who was the first German female sailor to ever finish the race in 2017 (portrait in YACHT 21/2016). Four years after her ocean premiere in the Mini, the medical student now wants to start again in 2021, this time in a Scow, a Wevo 6.50.
Has the Mini-Transat 2021 firmly in view: LinRixgens
On YACHT online, she reports on the preparation for the offshore adventure and the challenges of a mini-transat campaign in which the skippers are much more than just sailors: they organize and finance their project on their own and train to take part in the mini-transat Transat, with which many professional sailors have already collected their first offshore miles.
In the first part, Rixgens reported on taking over her bare, new boat and the mammoth task of getting it ready for sailing. In the second part, in the summer of 2019, we finally got on the water for the first time. In part three, she takes her with her to prepare for the transaction in the home office during the corona lockdown.
Now it could finally start again! Schleswig-Holstein - where your mini "Whomper" is also located - opens the ports from today. But the season and regatta planning still depends on a few unknowns and also pushes the sailor to the limits of what can be planned …
Season planning with the Classe Mini - a science in itself of LinRixgens
Since safety is very important to the Mini Class, the conditions of participation for all regattas are also being refined more and more. So not everyone who has a Mini 6.50 can simply sail the "Mini Transat" or the "Mini Fastnet". You have to meet certain requirements and qualify with your boat.
What does it mean exactly?
Regattas in four categories
The regattas are divided into categories from to D depending on their length. It makes no difference whether they are single-handed or double-handed.
A category D regatta corresponds to a day race. No qualifications are required to participate and only standard safety equipment is required.
Category C regattas are less than 300 nm in length. These include, for example, the "Pornichet Sélect" in the Atlantic or the "Arcipelago 6.50" in the Mediterranean. The prerequisite for this is proof of a boat-bound 24-hour "mini-qualifier", i.e. a 24-hour trip, or participation in a B or C race within the last five years. In C races, the equipment list is still relatively manageable. For example, you only need an on-board pharmacy, which is like an extended first aid kit in the car, and no personal AIS.
Category B - the middle distance
Category B races, on the other hand, already cover a distance of more than 300 nm. There are only a limited number of them per season. These include the "Mini en Mai", the "Mini Fastnet" and, every even year, the "Transgascogne" in the Atlantic as well as the "Gran Premio d’Italia", the "Mare Nostrum" and, more recently, the "Mini Med" in the Mediterranean.
To be allowed to take part in a B race, the skipper or co-skipper must have already contested a B or C race in the past five years. Alternatively, the so-called "Qualifier" (more on this below) can serve as a qualification, provided that it was completed within the last five years and on the boat with which the regatta is to be driven.
Required: extensive safety equipment
The safety equipment is much more extensive here, so that in addition to the world receiver, for example, a survival suit per person, a replacement life jacket and a charging facility for the batteries should not be missing. Also required are a "World Sailing SeSurvival" course for all participants and a "First Aid at Sea" certificate for the skipper, or in double-handed regattas for one person per boat.
The supreme discipline
There is only one regatta of this category per season. The length is more than 1000 nautical miles. In odd years it is the "Mini Transat", in even years the Azores race ("Les Sables-Les Azores-Les Sables). While B and C regattas take place both single-handed and double-handed, there are currently only single-handed races Category A races.