Initially restricted to 84, the number of entries in the Mini-Transat La Boulangère 2019 has been raised to 90. This opening is excellent news for the six sailors who were on the waiting list and will now be guaranteed a ticket for the start in La Rochelle on 22 September 2019. To support the increased number of participants, the organisers of the 22nd edition of the Mini-Transat have already made a few adjustments.
“Leave nobody dockside”
The Class Mini and the organisers of the Mini-Transat outline strict qualification criteria aimed at optimising the sailors’ safety. However, candidates who have validated all the qualification requirements can end up on the waiting list and, ultimately, not take the start of the event. This is the scenario the organisers are keen to avoid by raising the number of women and men who will set sail from La Rochelle on 22 September to 90. In concrete terms, the six competitors who were on the waiting list are now classified as legitimate entries. These include Bruno Simonnet, Jean-Baptiste Ternon, Yann Blondel, Antoine Oulhen, Cyril Oms and Rafael Fortes. “They’ve put in the work and a great deal of effort to successfully complete the entire qualification process”, explains Jean Saucet, Technical Director of the Collectif Rochelais Mini-Transat. “We’re delighted to see them among the entries, so we leave nobody dockside.”
An additional support boat
The switch from 84 to 90 racers has been accepted by the respective maritime authorities. However, a few adjustments will be made. “We’ll have to squeeze up a bit in the different ports, especially in Le Marin in Martinique. However, everyone is ready to step up to the plate”, explains Jean Saucet. “Furthermore, we plan to bring in an additional support boat, which has already been located. As such, there will be eight craft (one for every 12 Minis) on each of the two legs.” It’s worth pointing out that these support boats are a key aid for Race Management, which positions them on the race zone and asks them to intervene if a competitor’s trajectory looks suspicious.