On 1st October, the 40th edition of the Transat 6.50, also known as Mini Transat, had started in La Rochelle, France. This single-handed transatlantic yacht race takes place every two years, and the participants cross the Atlantic on the smallest offshore racing boats - with a length of only 6.50 meters. This year, 84 sailors from 15 countries participate.
The race is sailed in two legs: within the first seven to ten days, the participants sail about 1,350 miles from the starting point in La Rochelle, France, to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The second leg will start in early November and will take the participants after 15 to 20 days and after about 2,700 miles to their destination in Le Marin bay, Martinique.
Winners of Mini Transat in 2015 from France
At the last regatta in 2015, 73 sailors participated and crossed the Atlantic from Douarnenez, France, via Marina Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, to Pointe a Pitre in French Guadeloupe. The winners of the race were the two French sailors Frédéric Denis (category: prototype, arrived at destination after 19 days and 23 hours) and Ian Lipinski (category: series yachts, arrived at destination after 22 days and 9 hours).
The Mini Transat is physical and psychical challenge for the sailors
The Transat 6.50 is a big challenge for the sailors, crossing the Atlantic alone without another person on bord, and on an only 6.50 meters long slup; a small offshore racing boat with a mast, a headsail and mainsail. This weeks-long race means not only mental but also physical stress: the sleep deficit can lead to concentration disorders and depressions, the chilliness can weaken the immune system. In addition, many single-handed sailors try to make as many maneuvers as possible from one place, which requires a special design and equipment of the boat.