Sailors Michał Weselak (Poland) and Joe Lacey (UK) are each single-handedly representing their nations in the Mini-Transat La Boulangère ocean race, which began on October 5.
The skippers left La Rochelle in France this morning, in a light westerly breeze, to cross 1350 miles of ocean to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This leg is expected to take between a week and ten days. Then the yachts will set course for the French West Indies, 2700 miles away. It could take up to three weeks to reach the finish line in Le Marin, Martinique.
According to the official Mini-Transat website, most of the 87 skippers registered for the race are French. Other nations represented are Italy, Germany, Spain, Russia, Switzerland, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Japan, Greece, the United Arab Emirates – and of course Poland and the United Kingdom. Eight of the skippers are women.
Michał Weselak, 32, of Gdańsk, built his own boat based on an Etienne Bertrand design. He told the Mini-Transat website: “My goal by participating in the Mini-Transat is to become a better sailor, to get into offshore racing and to learn more and more. Since the start of my project, I’ve been amazed by the number of problems I’ve encountered, from the most basic to the more significant, especially in terms of funding. However, I’ve always found a way to sort these issues out, which is a source of great personal triumph”.
Of his boat, he added: “There’s a lot to do on deck with these boats. My Mini is new, she doesn’t yet have a long history, but I’m working on setting that straight”.
Joe Lacey, 35, of London, is sailing a Raison design Maxi 6.5. He said: “[The race] is a challenge for me. I’ve already done a fair amount of sailing, but it’s different in solo format. It’ll be a great experience. I love the Mini. I really hope I pull it off and get to Martinique”.
As SailHo.blog is a Polish and English sailing partnership, we’ll be following the progress of both skippers – and wish them fair winds and stopy wody pod kilem.
Our Polish readers can find more about Michał Weselak’s participation in the race, in Polish, on the portal Żeglarski.info.
Read all our News posts here.