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.
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.
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.