Sunday, September 6, 2009

MiniTransat 2009

2007 route

Painting the hull of 724, Chris Tutmark's boat

Ever wondered what the guts of a Mini look like? 724's interior looking at the bilge pump and the autopilot pump through the stern hatch.

Almost ready


Reality is Jesse's boat

Racing in France

Bottom work


all photos courtesy Chris and Jesse

Next Sunday, September 13th, sees the launch of the 2009 Mini Transat. For those of you not familiar with this event, it's a singlehanded bash across the Atlantic from France to Brazil in diminutive 21' high tech racing craft known as the Mini 650(for 6.5 m). First held in 1977, the race was conceived by an Englishman but is administered and dominated by the French and is considered to be one of the most physically and mentally challenging sailing events ever. I was first atracted to the class because I find these high tech little monsters beautiful in their own way, and now marvel at the development of the class and the stamina and seamanship needed to complete this race.
Following the success of Clay Burkhalter in 2007 (he placed 12th. which is considered excellent for an American), two American sailors will be testing themselves in Sunday's event.

Chris Tutmark
, 42, and Jesse Rowse, 24, will both be competing in this event for the first time. They both would like to better Clay's 2007 finish. Both have a subsidiary blog, Chris with Sailing Anarchy and Jesse with Sail Magazine. Both are seasoned racers although neither has ever sailed across the Atlantic. 70.8% wishes them both godspeed and bon chance in this herculean effort. It takes a tremendous amount of work just to get to the point of starting the race, with the job of lining up sponsors, etc. and a minimum of 1000 miles solo at sea to qualify. It's quite a distinction. It is also, historically, a springboard to success as a professional sailor: witness EllenMacArthur et al. Unlike my other favorite transatlantic 'race' the Jester Challenge, this is a fiercely competitive event. The man who conceived the race, Bob Salmon, did so out of motivation similar to that of the creators of the Jester.
I'll be rooting for both American entries!

1 comment:

ccoh said...

Great entry on a subject that really could do with more coverage from the blogosphere!