Sam Davies' Diary - Part 1

This girl has her eyes set on glory in the Mini Transat
I started sailing my Mini Aberdeen Asset Management last year, with Andrew Cape (Capey) - the designer and original skipper. Capey is unable to race the Mini Transat this year due to his Swiss America's Cup commitments and he generously handed the reins over to me towards the end of last summer. Not only did I become the new skipper of a fast and well-designed Mini, I also was lucky enough to persuade Aberdeen Asset Management to continue their generous sponsorship of this Mini and support my campaign for the Mini Transat 2001. With Aberdeen Asset Management backing me, I am able to ensure that my boat is safe and up to speed in every race I sail. Their support also enables me to compete in races all over Europe to complete my qualification, and gain as much experience as possible. I have also been lucky to have had the opportunity to sail with Capey. I learnt so much about the boat from its designer and someone who has sailed thousands of miles with her. This is so important with these individual, one-off ocean-going skiffs! Having said that, I certainly did not learn everything, and I don't think I will ever stop learning, even after sailing all the way to Brazil! The 2001 Mini Transat starts on the 22 September this year. However, in order to qualify to start this race the Mini sailors have to complete 2000 miles of sailing, 1000 miles of which must be from races in the Mini Calendar. There are only 55 places in this race, so the first to finish the miles gets in, so it's a race to qualify for the race itself. There are only a certain number of qualifying races and the only way to ensure qualification is to go to the first