Sam Davies Diary - Pt 3

Sam tells how she completed her first solo Mini race.
I have now finished all my qualification miles for the Mini Transat Race in September. This means that I should now be one of the 25 'Proto' (one-off) Minis that will get an entry for the race. 55 is not many places for a race that is becoming increasingly popular. Of that limit, 25 are reserved for one-design ('series') boats (Pogo, Coco and Super Calin) and five are left for 'wild cards' such as foreign entries that cannot travel to compete in the qualifying races. I have also just made another big step in my project – my first solo race (pictured right). I came ninth in the Select 6.5 in Pornichet. There were 60 boats in total. I was pleased with this result, as my aim to be in the top ten was achieved, whilst at the same time I was also sailing cautiously as the main priority was to finish the race and qualify for the Transat - the 'real' race. The Select 6.5 was a tough one. I was right to be anxious at the start – it was a gusty 18-20 knots. There were 60 Minis careering around pre-start with only half the fleet being hand steered as many people were making final adjustments to sails, reefs etc. Two boats had a big crash which put them out of the race before even starting. My aim was to stay out of trouble and I did. I was late on the line, but at the right end and in clear air so by the top mark I was mid-fleet. The idea of solo Mini sailing usually makes one think of being all alone, with hundreds of miles to sail, no land in sight, and few or no boats around. This is what it is like 90% of the time,