Published on 16 November 2021
Christiaan Durrant 55th Production boat into Saint-François
Christiaan Durrant (1015) crossed the finish line of the second leg of the 23rd edition of the Mini Transat EuroChef in 55th place in the Production boat fleet this Tuesday 16 of Novembre at 19h 58min 02s (UTC). In this way, the skipper of Little Rippa took 18 days 05 hours 58 minutes and 02 seconds to complete the 2,700 miles of the course between Santa Cruz de La Palma and Saint-François. His combined race time for the two legs equates to 29 days 38 minutes 42 seconds.
really been a very interesting race for me. The first week at sea was the most wonderful of my entire life and the second was the hardest. My autopilot failed. Without it, it became hard to make a sail change. At one point, I wanted to dump the spinnaker to hoist the solent, but the boat rounded up. All of a sudden, everything got tangled up. My headsail twisted up in itself countless times over. As such, I lost the use of my spinnaker and was never able to lower it back down. At the time, it was hard, but I told myself that it wasn’t the end of the world either. I cut away as much as I could so it would annoy me as little as possible, but admittedly it was hell. That happened three days from the finish. Obviously, I’ve not been very quick since and that’s my justification for finishing behind Antoine Bos! (laughs)
The first week was just fantastic, even though I had problems with the navigation system, which meant that I was quick on one tack and not on the other. That lasted for 10 days before I managed to resolve the problem. After that, I managed to catch up a bit every day and the boat was really going great guns. Next, as I mentioned, my autopilot failed. From that point, I only slept for 2 hours a day for eight days.
I’m happy. Why am I happy? Because for me the Mini Transat is not about the ranking. It’s about community. Before I started out in the Mini 6.50 a year ago, I had no idea what it was. I watched Matthieu Vincent’s YouTube videos and that’s what triggered all this as my professional life was kind of on hold due to the Coronavirus. I had to put in a great deal of effort and energy to get my project up and running, but I didn’t imagine how rich an experience it would be on a sporting and human level. That’s why my result today is of little importance. I’m part of a fantastic community with some incredible sailors.
On the big America’s Cup boats for example, you find athletes specialised in a single task. In Mini, you find people who know how to do absolutely everything on their own. It’s representative of the French system, which is quite remarkable. I’ve travelled and sailed in a hundred or so countries and I know that there’s no other place in the world where singlehanded offshore racing is so revered. Brittany is somewhere that’s in a league of its own. People there have the sea in their blood. They live and breathe the ocean. I’ve had an extraordinary year at the training cluster in La Turballe with my coach Hervé and all the skippers who are now friends for life. I’ve gained so much through this experience!”