Second crack at the Mini Transat

Photo: Ian Couper
Pip Hare tells us of her campaign and how Mini sailing is coming to the UK in 2012
In December, Classe Mini announced that the course for their flagship event, the biennial Mini Transat, is to return to a more ‘traditional’ course, finishing in the Caribbean, when it is next run in 2013. This follows a decade of the singlehanded transatlantic race for the 21ft long Minis running from La Rochelle to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Bob Salmon’s first Mini Transat back in 1977 went from Penzance to Antigua, before the French took over the running of the event in 1984 sending it to the French Caribbean. According to British competitor Pip Hare, who this season embarks on her second Mini campaign, the return to the more ‘classic’ course is causing a further surge of interest in the Mini Transat. (Not that more interest is necessarily needed – for as long as we can remember - and the first Mini Transat we covered was 1995 – the event has always been oversubscribed, with Classe Mini forced to establish a waiting list.) When she spoke to us, Pip had recently returned from visiting her Pogo 2 near Lorient in France. “It was fantastic. All the Minis that were for sale after the Transat have changed hands already. I have had four emails from people trying to buy my boat, so I think that the next Transat is going to be huge. And all the guys who have sold their boats are still hanging around helping the new guys.” For anyone who’s interested, secondhand tricked-up race-ready Pogo 2s typically change hands for 52-53,000 Euros. Pip adds: “A lot of people who finished the last race, and said ‘never again’ have said they’d be interested [in the next race]. A lot were saying ‘well, if it going to the Caribbean, then we’ll do it’.” The 2013 Mini Transat is to run from Douarnanez to Guadeloupe