56 for the Mini Fastnet
56 boats are lining to take part in this weekend's Mini Fastnet. The line up compsites 26 Protos and 30 Series class boats with around 10 boats likely to be able to claim line honours. 56 pairs, of whom 26 are in Prototypes and 30 in Production Boats.
The boats are scheduled to set off on this 700 mile race from Douarnenez Bay this Sunday at 1600 local time. However the present forecast for the race looks ugly in the extreme with around 30 knots on the wind meaning that the doublehanded crews on their Minis will be fully on the wind as they attempt to beat towards the Fastnet Rock.
Denis Hugues, Mini Fastnet Race Director says he is monitoring the weather (we reckon they should postpone...): “It’s still a bit early to give a definite announcement, but we know that a depression will pass on Saturday and that, following that, the conditions will dramatically improve: that’s what counts. On Sunday, there will be rough seas going into the Channel but they should die down. If this turns out to be the case, we should be able to send the fleet towards the Fastnet.”
In 2008, 2011 and 2012 the weather forced the Race Directors to opt for a southerly course towards Cordouan lighthouse. This year the forecast indicates the wind staying resolutely in the northwest but decreasing come Monday.
This being a Mini Transat yet, the line-up is as usual excellent.
In the Protos, some very professional crews are lining up, notably race winners such as Bertrand/Pulvé, the Gahinet/Rioux team, the Franco-Italian Pedote/Bourguès team recent winners of the Trophee MAP.
It’s the same story in the Series class with team Cloarec/Mahé, two highly-motivated Figaro sailors; a surprisingly talented pair in Switzerland's Justine Mettraux and Franco-German Isabelle Josckhe; the Franco-Swiss team of Koster/Beaudar, etc.
Favourites - Protos
Etienne Bertrand/Julien Pulvé (Chasseur de primes): the title-holders, an impressive pair.
Gwénolé Gahinet/Grégoire Mouly (Watever-Nautipark): the man of the hour, he can’t seem to stop bringing home the trophies since he shifted to prototypes last year.
Jorg Riechers/ Pierre Brasseur (Mare.de): notably double winner of the Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy (2010 and 2012).
Bertrand Delesne/Pierre Canevet (Teamwork): 3rd in the Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy, 2nd in the 2009 Mini Transat, 4th in the 2011 Mini Transat and winner of the 2010 Sables Les Açores.
The Italian Giancarlo Pedote/Laurent Bourguès (Prysmiam): Giancarlo has just brought home the Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy with his impressive Prototype ‘Magnum’, designed by David Raison.
Louis Segré/David Raison (Roll my Chicken): Talent Alert! Louis has hardly been off the podiums since the start of the season when he shifted over to prototypes.
Stanislas Maslard/Paul Marette (Groupe Sefico): 3rd in the 2005 Mini Transat, he is returning to the circuit. New Lombard proto
Benoit Marie (benoitmarie.com): 3rd in the Pornichet Select 6,50, 5th in the 2012 Sables Les Azores
In Production Boats
Damien Cloarec/Gildas Mahé (Lomig) : 2nd in the 2012 MAP Trophy, winner of the 2013 Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy (2nd in 2012).
Justine Metraux/Isabelle Joschke (Teamwork): the Swiss Metraux started her season with an unquestionable victory in the Pornichet Select, confirmed by winning 2nd place in the Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy.
The Swiss Simon Koster/Davy Beaudart (GO4IT): winner of the Chrono 6,50 and the 2012 UK Fastnet, Simon finished 5th in the 2013 Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy.
Clément Bouyssou (No War): 2nd in the Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy and regularly at the outposts.
Ian Lipinski (Pas de futur sans numérique): in just one year on the circuit, he has got himself onto several podiums, including one as a solo-sailor in the 2012 Sables Les Açores.
Damien Audrain/Julien Barnet (Stered Lostek)
Renaud Mary/Kan Chuh (Runo.fr): winner of the 2012 Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy, 2nd in the half-hitch Open in the 2012 Pornichet Select.
Jean-Baptiste Lemaire/Jean-Paul Vaur (L’œuvre du Marin Breton): 8th in the 2012 Sables Les Azores, a newcomer to look out for.