The Mini class has long been a proving ground for up and coming offshore sailors with an ambition to graduate to larger offshore classes. And despite COVID restrictions, organisers have compiled a full calendar for the Mini 6.50 season which kicked off last month with the Italian Archipelago 650’s race. Following several Mediterranean-based competitions, the action has switched to the Atlantic coast for a series of summer events including two new ones, the Mini Gascony and the Calvados Cup double-header.
After first and second place finishes in the Gran Premio d’Italia, Anne-Claire Le Berre and Amélie Grassi lead the rankings in the production class. Hugo Dhallenne and Thibaut Vauchel-Camus came out on top in the recent Plastimo Lorient Mini production class and Pierre Le Roy and Cédric Faron in prototypes. Italy’s Matteo Sericano currently heads up the prototype ranking.
Previous winners include a raft of world class sailors such as Yannick Bestaven (2001), Armel Tripon (2003), Thomas Ruyant (2009) and Ian Lipinski (2015). The four have gone on to achieve great success in other international events such as the Vendée Globe and Transat Jacques Vabre.
Unlike other offshore classes, the emphasis is on the individual rather than a team approach. Boat preparation must only be carried out by the sailor and race rules eschew modern technology and the digital age as competitors are forced to rely on compasses and charts for navigation.
More on the class here