Mini Transat - new hardware

James Boyd Photography /
Images of the latest Classe 6.50 weaponry
There's not a huge amount to write about the new Mini/Classe 6.50 hardware unfortunately. The only stand-out departure in the Proto class is David Raison's Team Work Evolution scow which we have written about previously here. As is the trend in the Volvo 70s and Open 60, so hull shapes have continued to get more powerful with chines, the ultimate expression of this being the Raison scow and the new Nacira Series boat shown at the bottom of this article has also gone this way. Another Series boat called the RG650 (built in Argentina) isn't taking part but was on display last week in La Rochelle and we'll be featuring this in the near future. There is also a move to place more volume forward. Again the scow is hands down winner in this respect, but it is also noticable in 787, the Sam Manuard designed Financiere de l'Echiquier for Thomas Normand (see below). Following the Finot-Conq design for Isabelle Joschke (read more about this here) for the 2007 Mini Transat and a few other boats from this era, so in the Proto fleet this time we are seeing more rotating wingmasts that can be to a small degree be inclined to windward as well as raked fore and aft. Among the fixed rig boats there continues to be all manner of spreader arrangements from straight in-line, to the more conventional straight swept-back to boomerang shaped ones (see the Nacira one design and Festival des Pains below).  All the boats have the pit mounted on the cabintop (the insides of Mini are already too small to start tunnelling through the cabintop) and their autopilots drive a ram that pushes and pulls the tiller directly (as Minis typically have transom-hung rudders). There remains considerable variation in the mainsheet controls, some with a straight track along