Mini Transat 2013 form guide

Photo: Bruno Bouvry
Lone British competitor Pip Hare tells of her campaign and the latest about this year's race
In the weakest turn out since before Mark Turner and Ellen MacArthur took part in 1997, only one British boat will be competing in this year’s Mini Transat – if Mother Nature ever allows the fleet of 84 pint-sized ocean racers to leave Douarnanez (four days after the race was supposed to have started, there is still no word of a departure date...) Sadly the Artemis Offshore Academy’s Nikki Curwen, daughter of Simon (who remains the highest placed Brit finisher in the race’s history), was fully qualified and got to up to second on the waiting list and has been waiting around in Douarnanez hoping that someone will drop out. However she has now thrown in the towel with the hope of being back for 2015. Thankfully keeping the faith and back for a second crack at the race is Pip Hare, who is once again campaigning her Pogo 2 The Potting Shed in the Series class. Pip is also disappointed by the poor British turn-out, but says she has been impressed with how positive Nikki Curwen remained as she spent the last few weeks agonisingly waiting to see if a spot became available. Aside from Curwen there were to have been two other entries: Luke Dampier was unable to qualify in time mainly thanks to the prolonged appalling weather in the early summer, while Jake Jefferis’ self designed and built Mad Dog was sadly lost when she dismasted. Her skipper had to abandon her and after being airlifted to safety was unable to recover the boat given her location off a lee shore in a building breeze. Even Pip’s own Mini campaign this time hasn’t been as all-consuming as it was prior to the 2011 race. Having completed in the Mini Transat before, entering the 2013 race was a far easier process