Briton leads Mini fleet

Ex-PlayStation helmsman leads 65 Minis bound for Portsmouth

Monday May 21st 2001, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Merfyn Owen, of Owen Clarke Design Group (who were principal designers of Ellen MacArthur's Kingfisher) designed Ian Munslow's Mini and has had another Mini recently launched for Portugese sailor Ricardo Diniz.

Merf writes: Ian Munslow's 6.5m Mini Transat campaign is one of the more typical poor Mini-ist ones. He doesn't have a main sponsor, but is supported by a number of generous people and companies, mainly a Plymouth-based marine company, Sonardyne as well as Barratt Electrical and Mechanical. Carphone Warehouse is not a sponsor, the company's name is on his delivery mainsail as it is from Mark Turner's old boat given to Ian (with other kit) by one of the last race entrants, Alex Bennett.

Ian's just been funded to the next stage by Sonardyne for a full suit of race sails from North Sails, France. Add this to the very best Thierry Fangent mast, great foils and a sound boat as the base platform, plus 12 months on the water and you have a pretty good campaign. Not bad for an agriculture student who'd never built a boat before and had so little money to start with that he couldn't find £100 for a set of chainplates (we devised a way of lashing the rods through the deck to attach to the structure with Vectran).

Ian's a pretty good seat-of-the-pants sailor. He's very tough and knows his boat. He's been out a few times with Alex Bennett and last year crewed for Paul Larsen (ex Team Philips/Team Legato) on his beach cat, doing events like Round Texel.

Ian's father is supporting him now until the start with £10 a day and this is a fantastic contribution as it will allow Ian to pretty much stay with the boat and sail right up to the start in September. His dogged preparation means he could be the Chris Sayer of the next race as long as he's one of the lucky ones who qualifies this year. There are far more boats than places available on the race.

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