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© Christophe Breschi

The Mini Transat EuroChef 2021 in numbers

There are less than two weeks to go now till the Mini Transat EuroChef race village opens its doors in Les Sables d’Olonne on France’s Atlantic coast, and before the month is out the 84 sailors competing in the event will set sail on a 4,050-mile passage bound for Saint-François (Guadeloupe), via a stopover in Santa-Cruz de La Palma (Canaries). Already, all the ingredients are in place to make this epic a truly unique event and we crunch through some of the numbers to cherry-pick the key details.

© Christophe Breschi

1: Originally departing from Penzance (UK), the start venue for the Mini Transat was subsequently moved to France where it has alternated between Brest, Concarneau, Douarnenez, Fort Boyard and then La Rochelle, and now for the very first time this year, Les Sables d’Olonne.

1: The race has previously stopped off in the Canaries twenty times, a record nine of which were in Tenerife, but this year the competitors will ring the changes by taking a break on the island of La Palma for this edition.

1: The patron of this 23rd Mini Transat – EuroChef is the exceptional sailor, Yannick Bestaven, winner of the Vendée Globe 2020-2021, who also secured 12th place in the Mini Transat 1999 and victory in the next edition in 2001.

1: During the race, one daily report transmitted via SSB radio by Race Management is accessible to the competitors, giving them the latest update on the weather situation, the 48-hour forecasts and the distances to the goal of each boat.

3: The Class Mini 6.50 has entrusted the company Korrigan and Les Sables d’Olonne Vendée Course au Large association, the event’s supporting club, with the organisation of this 2021 edition of the race, as well as the two subsequent races in 2023 and 2025.

4: Four continents are represented at the event: Europe, South America, North America and Australia.

4: Four prototype boats are equipped with foils this year: Camille Bertel’s Cap Ingelec (900), Tanguy Bouroullec’s Pogo Foiler (969), Jay Thompson’s Speedyg (936) and Pierre Le Roy’s Teamwork (1019).

4: Though the denouement of the Mini Transat has already been played out in Guadeloupe on three previous occasions (in 1985, 2013 and 2015), it will be the first time the race will finish in Saint-François.

6.50:  The length of the boats in metres, with a maximum beam of 3 metres and a 2-metre draught.

7: Seven boats (one for every 12 Mini 6.50s), capable of varying speeds, will be mobilised across each of the two legs to ensure the fleet is supervised at every stage.

12: Twelve different naval architects have designed the boats competing in this Mini Transat EuroChef, with Guillaume Verdier being the mastermind behind a record twenty boats (19 Pogo 3s and one prototype).

14: The number of nations represented (Germany, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Spain, the United States, France, the UK, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Russia and Uruguay). Though France boasts the greatest number of racers with a total of 55, Spain and Italy also have strong contingents with 8 and 7 sailors respectively.

14: Since 1993 – with the exception of the 1999 edition -, Denis Hugues has been the Race Director of the event.

15: The number of ‘repeat offenders’ in this 23rd edition, with a record four participations (two with a successful conclusion) for the Spaniard Pilar Pasanau (240 Peter Punk). Meantime, Tanguy Bouroullec has competed in three consecutive events.

18: In the last Vendée Globe, of the 34 sailors taking the start, 18 had had a crack at the Mini Transat.

19: The age of the youngest competitor in this 2021 vintage, German Melwin Fink.

23: The number of editions of the Mini Transat since its creation in 1977 by the Briton Bob Salmon.

26: The age of the oldest boat in the fleet, number 138, Poch’Trot skippered by Thomas Grandin. The most modern is number 1019, Teamwork skippered by Pierre Le Roy, launched on 12 February 2021.

28: The years that have elapsed between Pierre Meilhat’s first participation (1993) and that of today.

33: The average age of the Mini sailors in this 2021 edition.

56: The number of members that make up the EuroChef network.

66: The age of the oldest competitor at the race start, Georges Kick (529 Black Mamba). However, the latter will celebrate his 67th birthday on 27 October, two days before the start of the second leg.

72: To date, the number of schools which have requested a Mini Transat – EuroChef educational pack.

77: The number of EuroChef operating sites.

84: The number of sailors competing in the race, this year’s breakdown being 72 men and 12 women.

84: Total places available in the event. The distribution this year: 24 prototypes, 60 production boats.

180: The volunteers rallied together for the ten days of festivities in Les Sables d’Olonne, through until the day after the start, on 27 September.

198: In centimetres, the height of the tallest competitor, Franck Lauvray (346 Alice), who’s likely to find his boat even smaller than the others during his transatlantic passage!

900: The number of EuroChef technicians

1,106: To date, the number of sailors who have participated in the Mini Transat since its creation. Of these, 845 have successfully completed the adventure at least once.

1,350: The number of miles the sailors will have to cover in the first leg from Les Sables d’Olonne to Santa Cruz de La Palma, which equates to around 2,500 kilometres and around a week at sea for the front runners.

2,426: The elevation of the Roque de los Muchachos, the highest point on the volcanic island of La Palma, which is on the rim of the Caldera de Taburiente. The summit may well create a significant wind shadow at the start of act 2!

2,700: The number of miles that make up the second leg between Santa-Cruz and Saint-François, which amounts to 4,445 kilometres and two weeks at sea.

4,050: The total miles to be devoured to complete the passage, which equates to 7,500 kilometres

6,808: In m², the surface area of the race village in Les Sables d’Olonne open to the public from 16 to 26 September, with a total of eleven exhibitors.


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