Please select your home edition
Gill 20off100 728x90

Mini Transat: the most feminine of offshore races

by Aurélie Bargat on 20 Mar 20 March 2017

Decidedly, the Mini Transat is an event like no other. In the offshore racing world, where women often struggle to carve out a niche for themselves, the Mini wrong-foots accepted ideas. For this 2017 edition, ten women will be at the start and have no intention of letting their tickets go to waste.

Is it the size of the boats where manœuvres remain on a human scale, the diversity of the applicants' profiles at the start or the Mini Transat's function as a rite of passage? The fact remains that where a number of the major offshore races battle to attract the female sex, the Mini Transat appears to be flourishing in this domain.

Setting an example

One might well imagine that the list of fine ladies from the offshore racing circuit have careers coloured by the Mini Transat. Indeed, Isabelle Autissier, Catherine Chabaud and Samantha Davies made their debut in the race before setting sail on the Vendée Globe adventure. Before finishing second in the Vendée Globe then beating the solo round the world record, Ellen MacArthur also spent time in the 'Mini school'. More recently, Justine Mettraux, second in the 2013 edition, has been considered to be a rising star in the Figaro Bénéteau class after a foray into the crewed round the world Volvo Ocean Race. Isabelle Joschke is another face that shone in the Mini Transat before she went on to join the Figaro circuit and then the Class40, where she has constantly ranked among the front runners.

A youngster, merchant navy officers and a round the world sailor

For this edition, the wealth of profiles testifies to the fact that there is no single route to the Mini Transat. Without a shadow of a doubt, it is following the progress of their friend during the 2015 edition, that Clarisse Crémer and Nolwenn Cazé decided to take similar career choices. Both of them were able to witness first-hand how persistent you have to be to be prepared for start day. They were also able to assess just how entrancing this race is for those who set sail on the adventure. Nolwenn Cazé is also a Merchant Navy Lieutenant. The minute her holidays allow, she switches boat sizes, going from a cableship to a Pogo 2, the most widely produced production Mini.

Meantime, Marine André will be the youngest competitor in the race at just 22 years of age. Without much experience, she made her debut in 2016 in the pre-season races, before setting sail on her first offshore race, Les Sables – Les Açores – Les Sables.

There will also be two Spanish sailors in the female contingent. Marta Guemes will be in familiar waters since she originates from the Canaries where she practised before joining the training centre in La Rochelle. Catalan sailor Anna Corbella surely has the finest track record of this Mini Transat with one Mini Transat already to her credit and two participations in the Barcelona World Race, the double-handed non-stop round the world race. Anna also organises the Mini cluster in Barcelona. The international element is unquestionably the trademark of the Mini Transat, since it will also feature a German sailor, Lina Rixens, a student in medicine, who devotes the bulk of her spare time to training in La Rochelle.

Clearly, it is part of the Mini Transat's vocation to mix up the profiles of its competitors. Amateur or professional, man or women, novice or repeat offender, there is no other race that enables such a melting pot on the start line. It may well be this factor that makes it such a hit with these ladies...

Female participants in the Mini Transat 2017:

  • Marine André, Pogo 2
  • Nolwenn Cazé, Pogo 2
  • Elodie Pédron, Pogo 2
  • Clarisse Crémer, Pogo 3
  • Agnès Menut, Pogo 2
  • Marta Guemes, Pogo 2
  • Anna Corbella, Pogo 3
  • Estelle Greck, Pogo 2
  • Lina Rixens, Pogo 2
  • Charlotte Méry, Prototype

Related Articles

The Mini Transat 40 years old: a fine age
Twenty-seven sailors took part in the first edition Created to ensure sailors once again had a prominent place in a race ranking, the Mini Transat was devised by British sailor Bob Salmon and first set sail from Penzance in Cornwall some 40 years ago. Posted on 22 Apr
Mini Transat 2017 fully booked!
84 boats to set off from La Rochelle in October Race after race, the Mini Transat has always maintained its popularity. For this 2017 edition the race will host a full contingent as the number of applicants signed up for the adventure already exceeds the 84 places made available by the organiser. Posted on 17 Feb
Sailing academy seeks new backing
Training Britain's brightest solo offshore sailors A unique opportunity to associate with one of British sport's most innovative training programmes becomes available today with the announcement by the UK-based fund manager Artemis that it is ending its 10-year sponsorship of British sailing. Posted on 30 Jul 2016
Alan Roberts top Brit, Will Harris Rookie champion
In La Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro 2016 The 47th edition of the Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro concluded in La Rochelle on Thursday with celebrations in the British camp. Posted on 8 Jul 2016
British sailors set for Solo Normandie
Chance to check out start of this summer's Figaro The Artemis Offshore Academy sailors Will Harris, Mary Rook, Hugh Brayshaw, Alan Roberts, Andrew Baker and Robin Elsey today set sail on the Solo Normandie 2016. Posted on 12 May 2016
British pairing hammer downwind
Update from Transat AG2R La Mondiale race British sailors Sam Matson and Robin Elsey, are making excellent progress in the Transat AG2R La Mondiale double-handed transatlantic race from Concarneau in Brittany to St Barts in the Caribbean. Posted on 8 Apr 2016
Artemis Offshore Academy sailors prepare
For the first big challenge of 2016 Three British rookie solo ocean racing sailors are preparing for their biggest test yet, a 350-nautical mile, non-stop, single-handed race that takes place along the French Brittany coast. Posted on 17 Feb 2016
Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe 2015
An exceptional edition The 2015 edition of the Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe has been widely acknowledged as an exceptional edition. Not just for the weather. Posted on 6 Dec 2015
Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe Prize Giving
An awards ceremony full of emotion We know about the business of awards cermonies. They are one of those obligations because it is the opportunity to officially celebrate the winners, thank all those who contributed to the success of the event, and put a full stop on the race. Posted on 27 Nov 2015
Lizzy Foreman finishes the Mini Transat
First British sailor in the Series class 25 year-old British solo sailor Lizzy Foreman set off on the final 2,770nm leg of the Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe to Guadeloupe on 31st October in 'Hudson Wight', Hull 633, a 10-year old Series Mini 6.50m. Posted on 19 Nov 2015