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Mini Transat

And they’re off! Leg 1, from France to Portugal, is 1,100 miles while Leg 2, from Portugal to Brazil is 3,100 miles.

© 2007 Pierrick Garenne / Grand-Pavois

The 89 entrants in the 16th Transat 6.5 Charente-Maritime/Bahia de Madère – a.k.a. the Mini Transat – are making their way to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, from La Rochelle, France. The Mini is a 21-ft singlehanded offshore flat-bottomed boat built to rigorous guidelines and was the forerunner to the Open 60.

Isabelle Joschke, one of six female skippers, has retired from the race due to boat damage.

© 2007 Pierrick Garenne / Grand-Pavois

The two-leg, 4,200-mile race was created by British skipper Bob Salmon in 1977 to promote offshore racing without abusing financial and technical capabilities – no Kevlar or carbon sails, no weather routing and no outside communication allowed. It really is a solo race.

Looking very lonely on a big sea, Adrien Hardy’s Brossard is in 9th place at this writing. Downwind, the Mini boasts 394 square feet of sail area.

© 2007 Team OCEAN

The large mix of international racers, including six women (the class helped launch the solo ocean racing career of Dame Ellen MacArthur) are due in around October 25.

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