Mini Transat attempt number two

Jacques Vapillon /
Nikki Curwen has acquired a new Proto and is firing on all cylinders
Nikki Curwen is showing great resilience. Last year she had to go through an exasperating ordeal when she was stuck on the waiting list for the Mini Transat and, despite being poised and ready to go, was ultimately unable to race. Those who did make it obviously ended up being put through their own ordeals as severe weather resulted in the race first being postponed, then started and prematurely halted in northwest Spain. Eventually it restarted only after the crews had effectively been hanging around France and northern Spain for more than a month (to help resolve this, for the 2015 race there is discussion about trying to dodge the bad weather by holding the start earlier, but having a longer stopover in Lanzarote). Undeterred by last year's experience, Nikki has intentions on the 2015 Mini Transat and has already embarked on her own campaign. Having sailed the Artemis Offshore Racing Pogo 2 last season, now having parted company from the Academy she has made the significant step of acquiring her own boat. Following in the footsteps of her father Simon – still the highest placed British finisher in the Mini Transat after his second place in 2001 – Nikki has managed to acquire the best Proto her limited budget can stretch to. While her father bought the boat sailed in the 1999 race by Lionel Lemonchois (now skipper of Prince de Bretagne), Nikki has bought hull #741, which as Boréal Frenchman Remi Fermin has campaigned in last two Mini Transats. Remi Fermin is a ‘proper’ Mini sailor in as much as, without any formal training, he designed his own boat and then built it under a tent in his garden. Fermin started construction in 2008. He subsequently competed in the 2011 Mini Transat. In this he sadly dismasted mid-Atlantic, but jury rigged