Mini Transat celebrates innovative design

Mini Transat La Boulangere Past winners of the race include Thom Pousse helmed by Philippe Vicariot. Image courtesy of Christophe Breschi/Mini Transat La Boulangere

Mini-Transat La Boulangère is celebrating 40 years of race vessels with cutting-edge design.

Notable vessels include the prototypes sailed by Casimir Jarkowski in 1997 and Norton Smith in 1979, to Lilienthal skippered by Jörg Riechers or Arkema 3 helmed by Quentin Vlamynck.

Etienne Bertrand, the naval architect responsible for a number of prototypes, including Lilienthal, Jörg Riechers’ new steed, stated: “In my view, the first prototype to really be designed specifically for the Mini-Transat was American Express, winner of the 1979 edition in the hands of one Norton Smith. She was a really versatile boat, which was both seaworthy and quick.”

Historic winners

Past winners of the race include Thom Pousse helmed by Philippe Vicariot and Mistral Gagnant skippered by Hervé Devic.

From 1989 to 2013, the Finot designs took the winner’s cup six times.

From 1997, came the dynasty of Pogo 1s, then Pogo 2s, which would reign supreme through until 2013, but the 2011 race was dominated by racer and naval architect David Raison with his Magnum.

4,050 miles

The 21st edition of the Mini-Transat La Boulangère begins in La Rochelle, France. Participants will cover 4,050 miles until the finish point at Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and Le Marin (Martinique).

25 prototypes and 56 production boats will take part.

At the start, Ian Lipinski, who is sailing the Griffon.fr, the next iteration of Raison’s design, will have two other scow bows to contend with among others: Arkema 3 skippered by Quentin Vlamynck and Lilienthal sailed by Jörg Riechers.

From 2018, another adversary is looming, designed by Finot-Conq.

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