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The 2013 Mini 650 Pacific Challenge...


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#1 Mini650PacificChallenge

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 03:34 PM

On July 6th 2013 a group of sailors are going to do something that has never been done before – participate in the first ever Mini 650 Pacific Challenge.

 

The race is going to be sailed on Mini Transats – a 21 foot offshore sailboat. The sailors are going to be saiing non-stop, single handed, across more than 2,200 nautical miles of Pacific Ocean.

 

The race will have LIVE tracking that will enable the sailing community to be able to watch the battle on the water, as well as Virtual Regatta allowing everyone to complete. The Minis, being very equal in boat speed, gives the Mini 650 Pacific Challenge the excitement of an inshore one-design race combined with the jeopardy of a round the world contest.

 



#2 rhenders

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 10:04 PM

hmm..   24 hours in and it looks like only two boats are racing.      What happened to the other three?



#3 r.finn

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 05:49 AM

That is terrible. Jerome must be pissed. Hopefully the other registrants from this race will enlighten us about what happened, seeing as they can at least web surf now. Middle class boats in a non middle class sailing market. It's too bad.

#4 Abilyn Racing

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 07:08 AM

Open Sailing says on the North American Mini Class FB page that 2 entrants failed to complete their 400 nm qualification on time, and the other "got cold feet."  Daisy Cutter appears to be the only boat heading to Diamond Head while Jerome appears to have turned around.  This is according to the Yellowbrick tracker.  if you go to the website for the Mini Pacific Challenge and listen to Jerome's most recent voicemail, he indicates that he can't send or receive any data, including weather information, due to a problem with his sat phone.  This may be why he's turned around.  Although, that's pure speculation at this point.



#5 LeoV

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:08 AM

Go Daisy Cutter, its a well build boat... as I was involved :)



#6 rhenders

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:08 PM

A one boat race.     It's too bad, this race had captured my imagination.       Hopefully there is another iteration of this race and that they can scrounge up a few more entrants.

 

Go Daisy Cutter.   



#7 NoStrings

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 01:19 PM

I do not understand.

#8 Southern Cross

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 01:29 PM

Shame. Really would like to see these boats and their European kin gain interest in the USA and especially the west coast. Open Sailing has done a great job trying to kick start the whole thing. I've heard they're building the boats out here now as well. $50k for the hull? Another $50 - 75k to outfit? There are a lot of great venues here in California for these boats to take off.

#9 rhenders

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 01:50 PM

Front page is incorrectly reporting that it's Jerome Sammarcelli who is the last man standing.      In fact, according to the tracker, it's Sean McGinn on US530 (Daisy Cutter).

 

How much info does Sean get onboard?   Surely he gets updates as to the positions of the others.   Does he have the ability to publish any reports?

 

I hope he finishes...   It's still a long, lonely way to go.



#10 herbie verstinx

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 04:35 PM

Front page is incorrectly reporting that it's Jerome Sammarcelli who is the last man standing.      In fact, according to the tracker, it's Sean McGinn on US530 (Daisy Cutter).
 
How much info does Sean get onboard?   Surely he gets updates as to the positions of the others.   Does he have the ability to publish any reports?
 
I hope he finishes...   It's still a long, lonely way to go.


The front page is on par for the course. They must have hired the minister of misinformation from the Iraq war. Their editor needs an editor!

This must suck for Jerome. He's put a lot of time and effort into this. Great guy and good for the sport.

#11 Timbo

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 05:11 PM

+1    feel bad for JS.....           :(

Front page is incorrectly reporting that it's Jerome Sammarcelli who is the last man standing.      In fact, according to the tracker, it's Sean McGinn on US530 (Daisy Cutter).
 
How much info does Sean get onboard?   Surely he gets updates as to the positions of the others.   Does he have the ability to publish any reports?
 
I hope he finishes...   It's still a long, lonely way to go.


The front page is on par for the course. They must have hired the minister of misinformation from the Iraq war. Their editor needs an editor!

This must suck for Jerome. He's put a lot of time and effort into this. Great guy and good for the sport.


#12 Abilyn Racing

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 06:21 PM

Front page is incorrectly reporting that it's Jerome Sammarcelli who is the last man standing.      In fact, according to the tracker, it's Sean McGinn on US530 (Daisy Cutter).

 

How much info does Sean get onboard?   Surely he gets updates as to the positions of the others.   Does he have the ability to publish any reports?

 

I hope he finishes...   It's still a long, lonely way to go.

Open Sailing is reporting that he was injured near the vicinity of Catalina Island, which is why he turned around.  



#13 Mini650PacificChallenge

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 12:19 AM

The official story behind the Mini 650 Pacific Challenge has now been posted online - http://www.mini650pa...-one-boat-race/
 

On Saturday July 6th a large spectator fleet gathered in Santa Monica Bay to watch the start of the first ever Mini 650 Pacific Challenge. Three anxious but eager sailors crossed the starting line, each on their own 21-foot Mini 6.50 TransAt boat knowing that an arduous 2,200 nautical miles trek lay before them.
The daunting nature of the proposition and the preparation required had already claimed two other competitors – Luiz Eduardo and Charles Calkins were unable to complete their qualifying obligations and were therefore disqualified. On race day, another surprise drop-out occurred when Przemyslaw Karwasiecki got a terminal case of “cold feet” and made for the exit door.
As disappointing as these DNS’s were to organizers, it was still set to be a captivating two-boat dual between favorite Jerome Sammarcelli and strong contender Sean McGinn. Despite initial problems at the start with his wind instruments McGinn quickly recovered and sailed USA 530 back to the top of the leader-board before sunset. With mere miles between the two racers, the stage was set for an epic 2,200-mile match race – an ocean duel, but then another blow struck.
A medical emergency onboard USA 806 on Sunday afternoon forced Jerome Sammarcelli to turn USA 806 around. Even though the injuries sustained were minor, Jerome (father of two), put safety first and made the tough decision to abandon what was to be his second Pacific crossing onboard USA 806. Sammarcelli was visibly gutted as he reached the docks of Marina del Rey.
On learning the news early Sunday morning that he was the last man standing, McGinn was disappointed, but still in good spirits. Having survived a windy night, which required him to take a 3rd reef, he pledged to soldier on and carry the burden of making the Mini 650 Pacific Challenge a part of sailboat racing history.

 



#14 Mini650PacificChallenge

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 12:23 AM

How much info does Sean get onboard?   Surely he gets updates as to the positions of the others.   Does he have the ability to publish any reports?

 

Sean's primary form of communication is a satellite phone. He will use the phone to receive weather & daily position reports. Most sailors sail with the phone "off", the race committee can send txt messages and/or emails to keep the sailors up to date but they will only receive the updates when they power on the phone. Sean found out at 8am on Monday morning that Jerome had retired, Jerome was already back at the dock in Marina del Rey by that time having been met by members of the race committee 10 miles offshore to ensure the boat and skipper made it safely back to the marina.



#15 Foolish

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 05:52 AM

A race title has never been more appropriate: "The Ultimate Adventure. One Sailor, One 21 Foot Boat. 2200 Nautical Miles of Pacific Ocean"

It's like they foresaw something.

 

A qualifying sail is a standard part of ocean racing.  I wonder why two of the skippers did not get it done.  And why even show up at the start without it.  Did they hope to be allowed to race anyway?



#16 BalticBandit

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 07:00 AM

So why didn't the two guys who had not qualified go out and start and do a 400mile out and back so they could get that qualifier under their belt?



#17 saxon

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 02:04 PM

This is very sad, for mini sailing in the US.  Things do not add up.  It seems with all the hype, advertising, press, and build up, it may have just been other ploy for the builder to use this event, and the North American Mini class association, as a tool to promote the POGO2 boat.  Ironic, that the only boat sailing to Hawaii is not a POGO2.



#18 Foolish

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 03:15 PM

It is sad, but not unexpected.  Several years ago an attempt was made to have a mini race from Victoria to LA. It had very limited success.  Then attempts have been made to attract minis to the SH Transpac, with only limited success.   Try as you might, you just can't get people to do what they don't want to do.  SH racing has a very limited population in North America.  When you cut that number down to a particular boat, it gets even more limited.



#19 r.finn

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 04:30 PM

I think foolish nailed a big part of it. The question is why were there four new pogos, that looked sorted to do the race, yet not all of the skippers seem to be ready. I suspect Jerome did what he could for those three guys since his company also has a coaching side to it. I'm sure he'll chime in when he's ready. The rest is just conjecture.

#20 USA970

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 04:50 PM

I am bummed this isnt going well, its a huge blow to NA mini racing.  Its been on my radar for several years now.  Right now I dont have the funds or the time but both get closer as time moves on.  Its an awesome little boat that would be nice to see gain some traction here.

 

Feel sorry for Jerome and his team, he worked hard to get this going, hopefully it wont completly dissapear.



#21 rhenders

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 05:38 PM

This is just one race.   It's not the end of Mini racing in NA.     I'd like to think it's really just getting started.    Jerome has been a huge part of getting the momentum going.       He's shouldn't quit now.      Baby steps.  



#22 Foolish

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 06:20 PM

rhenders: Unfortunately it's not just one race, as I pointed out above it is several races over the past 5 years.    As much as I would like to see it flourish, would someone drop $70k on a single-purpose boat in the "hopes" that the sport grows?  That same person could spend $25k on a nice Olson 30 in the secure knowledge of established SH races on both coasts.



#23 VwaP

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 06:56 PM

They might of thought about putting together a few Mexican races to get this thing started before trying to go all epic, ultimate to Hawaii.

#24 kokopelli

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:17 PM

+1 Go Daisy Cutter and Sean.  I wish you all the luck and successful trip.

Nice to know my old boat (ex ER Tape from 2007 Bermuda 1-2) is getting to do the Pacific too.

 

Hey Leo, thanks for the memories.

Go Daisy Cutter, its a well build boat... as I was involved :)



#25 mrpelicano

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:29 PM

A one boat race.     It's too bad, this race had captured my imagination.       Hopefully there is another iteration of this race and that they can scrounge up a few more entrants.

 

Go Daisy Cutter.   

 

 

Not unlike the Louis Vuitton Cup, only for a fraction of the cost and without the relentless hype.  :)

 

However:  Go Daisy Cutter!  Mini Proto Zero to the Islands!



#26 mrpelicano

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:38 PM

While awaiting a more thorough accounting from those involved, I don't think one should underestimate the anxiety one feels heading out into the ocean alone on any size boat.  Many people fantasize about it, all the way through to purchasing and fitting out a boat, learning how to sail it and perhaps doing a few tune-up distance races.  But when it comes time to point the bow to a destination 2,100 miles away, it can be rather unsettling.  I've done two Hawaii races, one crewed and one doublehanded, and I experienced a great deal of stress and fear leading up to the start, even after having raced for many, many years.

 

The Mini is a terrific boat to undertake such adventures, and one need not go all out for a brand new Pogo 2 to get into one - outstanding Series and Protos are available for considerably less, but in the right hands can still be very competitive (look at the results of the recent Trophy M.A.P and Mini Fastnet races and note at least one boat in the 200 range doing quite well).

 

Anyway, I'm sure many lessons will be learned from this.  I was involved with the RC in the earlier West Coast Mini Race, referred to above, a double-handed sleighride from Victoria to SF (originally meant to include a second leg from SF to LA).  Only two boats crossed the line, but both finished and enjoyed some amazing white-knuckle sailing along the way.  I predict that a Mini Hawaii race will eventually take place, probably within the next 4-5 years.  



#27 Icedtea

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 10:00 PM

Pretty shit it had to go like that. 

 

 

My plan is to move west coast US and if minis were there it would be pretty cool. 

 

 

Hopefully the class will get going properly.... 



#28 JShark

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 02:38 PM

ANYONE who has prepared for a race like this knows how much work goes into just getting your boat ready - Jerome not only accomplished that but he also managed to pull off the race organization at the same time.  A herculean effort by any measure.



#29 LeoV

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 03:20 PM

Hi Jan, old times indeed.

Thinking of buying a Zero myself in the near future, of course one I have build .

 

the first UK Fastnet was a race were not many boats showed up, so if the US  keeps building a fleet, more racers will be active.

 

And for Sean, its a bit lonely out there... hope he enjoys himself.



#30 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 03:36 PM

The French have been working on this since 1977.  Give North America another 25 years or so...



#31 r.finn

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 05:30 PM

That said, it's been six years since the Bermuda 1-2 first allowed a class. There States were 8 boats, and that's still the most ever assembled for a start line. Unfortunately the #s haven't been going up.

#32 kokopelli

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:14 PM

I have learned long ago to not second guess a skippers choice.  If you are not there, you don't know.  Minis are exponentially more challenging to sail than Olsons or any of the other weapons of choice for SH transpac adventures.  Without lots of time in the boat it is a daunting proposition for someone new to the boat.  Knowing your limits is the best way to insure you are around to start your next race.

 

The problem with Minis is that you have to love to sail them for the challenge they are, not because of a cost/benefit calculation.  A dialed in and lit up Mini is rewarding in a way no other boat has ever been for me.  And that is in spite of the fact that I have had a higher top end , and 24 hr average speed im my Olson 29.

 

If we are going to grow the NA Mini class we have to grow the culture with it, and that is a difficult proposition.

 

Go Sean, enjoy the ride.



#33 redboat

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 08:11 PM

Hopefully as some of the relatively new and enthusiastic owners spend more time in the boats doing coastal events their confidence will grow and others upon seeing them will decide to join the fleet.

 

Like many here, so damn envious of the French, at least for their passion for offshore sailing.



#34 r.finn

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 09:18 PM

Agreed, but folks are always dropping the phrf bomb here. One class race every other year is a hard sale. Jan, I race against Kokopelli every Wednesday. You should be happy to know, she's in very good hands and exceptionally well taken care of.

#35 Open Sailing

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 10:40 PM

Dear Friends,

 

First of all, thank you all very much for the kind words. For those of know me, you know it had to be a good reason for me to turn around, and as I write, I can tell you that being back on land so quickly is painful. I will go into what happened below. 

For those who don't know me, please don't assume and remember that sailing is too important to be taken seriously. To the "newbie" who called himself "saxon" on this forum, I can only say the following: you are funny. Your 2 unique posts clearly show your agenda. Keep hiding behind your computer and use SA forum in that extend, it amuses me.

 

After the start, I opted for an option south in order to sail out of Santa Monica bay and therefore avoid a non-wind zone at night. My routing suggested to go north, which I had plan on doing during the night. I was hoping to have a little breeze at night, and make some distance on Sean who would hopefully be stuck with no wind. At the end, we both ended up with zero wind Saturday night. For those of you who know, no wind means very little sleep. Sean and I talked on Sunday morning and he had made time on me of course, sailing a shorter distance. More than just racing each other at that point, the fight was to get out offshore and finally hook some breeze other than the  usual weak thermal southern californian light air. Sean was fine and actually had a good night of rest.

Around noon, the wind finally picked up - about 6-7 knots. I set the code 0 up and was moving well on a very tight angle (about 60 TWA). It was great. The last thing I remember was myself, clipped on, knee pads, standing in the cockpit.

Weeks, months of preparation, stress trying to organize this event, frustration because Sean and I were the only racers, low blood sugar level,...I am not sure but I lost consciousness. Of course, I didn't know I did at the time.

When I "woke up", the wind has gone up - about 12 knots, and further forward. I was over-powered with the code 0. I quickly took it down and went down below to stack my gear to the weather side. I also changed with warmer gear. When I did, I notice a little blood on my leg, really nothing to be concern but couldn't remember how and when I got that scratch.

The wind kept rising. Now on a closed-haul, I reefed the genoa and put two reefs in the main sail. I added more weight to the weather side (5 x 20 liters of water + food and other gear, so roughly about 300 lbs). The boat was sailing really well. It was balanced, comfortable (except for having to dodge waves upwind which is a little wet). Everything was fine. I was heading to San Nicolas Island. The plan was to leave the island to port. The wind was about 21 knots, gusting mid-twenties. At that point, although I was well geared up, I felt cold and very tired. The last hours started to roll back and something was missing. My entire body started to ache. I was missing an hour of that afternoon. I couldn’t remembered what happened between 12pm and 1pm. It was probably about 4:00pm when I picked up my sat phone and called my doctor (pre-programed into my speed dial). After a quick explanation, not knowing if I really hurt myself, he suggested to turn around and have a full check-up to make sure no concussion was in fact in effect. He also mentioned not to go to sleep. It was about 5-5:30pm. This was really the first time I actually looked at the clock since my “episode”. I was about 70nm offshore and only about 3 hours left of day light. I turned the boat downwind, gybed to port, set the auto pilot, jumped down below to move the weight aft and on the new weather side. I also emptied 3 of my 5 20 liters drinking water containers and headed back to Marina Del Rey. Another adrenaline rush and the boat covered almost 30nm in 3 hours. It was a great ride, one of those that, still as I type, makes me deeply miss those surfs in the trades to Hawaii. I had just enough wind to sail through the shipping lanes. The wind died slowly but surely. At 3am, about 10nm from the harbor, the race committee was there to help out. Thank you so much! They jumped on the boat and escorted me to the harbor.

 

I was lucky and can’t wait to go back out. I have sailed to Hawaii once on the boat and will do it again. Doctors and friends all suggested I sit this one out.

 

I feel for Sean who is alone out there. Racing is tough enough. Being the only boat, it is even harder. On these races, you usually find the courage to keep going because you know others are out there as well, fighting the elements and suffering too. It is going to take Sean everything to dig deep inside and find the right resources to keep going. I have been on the phone with him since I got back and he is in good spirit. We are sharing a lot. We have both practice intensively for the past 6 months and became close friends. I am planning on flying to Hawaii and make sure he gets another night of no sleep celebrating!!

 

If there’s only one boat racing, it is the right one. Whether it is a Pogo 2, a Zero or any other Minis, it is all one big family. Even if there’s only one boat racing, there will be more for the next one. 

 

For those (newbie Saxon) who think it was just a marketing joke, go back to golfing, get a life and stop polluting our sport behind your computer.

 

For everyone who supported the event, for everyone who helped us putting this from scratch, thank you again so much. All the work is going to be useful for years to come: the Mini 650 Pacific Challenge is there to stay, and “Rome wasn’t built in one day”.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jerome

Pogo 2 USA 806

Team Open Sailing



#36 mrpelicano

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 11:15 PM

Jerome -

 

Thanks very much for the detailed explanation, which was thoughtful of you to provide, even if unneeded for those of us who understand the challenges involved in solo offshore racing.  Glad you and the boat are okay and back safely in port.

 

As for Sean, as difficult as it will be for him to race on alone, we should never forget or underestimate the incredible enjoyment that comes from reeling in the miles on the open ocean, hour after hour, day after day.  These are the only times I've ever experienced anything like a truly Zen state of peace and sense of well-being.  Oh, and of course, rail rash.  :)



#37 BalticBandit

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:06 AM

Jerome

Given what you describe, you absolutely made the right call.  Hopefully it was just stress and blood sugar and a mild concussion from hitting your head after fainting.    But not knowing if its something that needs immediate attention makes your turning back very much the right call.   Wisdom counts!



#38 mrpelicano

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 05:30 PM

At the risk of sounding morbid, I think the NOR specified that the skipper must be alive at the finish in order to be scored.  Otherwise, DNF.  Not to mention DOA.  ;)



#39 BalticBandit

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:12 PM

DNB?? Did Not Breathe?



#40 Icedtea

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:08 PM

Sorry to hear that Jerome, 

 

I can imagine how bad that must feel. 

 

But at the end of the day you made the right call, being alive back at the start is better than not finishing at all. 



#41 r.finn

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 05:20 PM

Second that. Having recently had a major concussion of my own, if that's what you have, you need lots of rest. Not very singlehanded friendly, and potentially very dangerous. I hope you're able to heal well.

On another note, minis in the states. One big reason I see in a lack of traction here is a lack of national heroism associated with the sport for the little guys to identify with, which is who makes up the mini fleet in FR. In France it started with Tabarly, and grew into a list of guys and girls that is too long to list now. We are essentially drawing off of their list, and there aren't many here who choose to do that. France has also developed a large enough class that there are many races each year that Corinthian mini sailors can participate in to justify owning a boat with such broad performance characteristics which don't rate well in handicap racing. We obviously don't have that here. I think it would help to push a class that is as cheap as a mini, but with a more moderate performance characteristics so in the vast off season of solo class races, owners would be able to race competitively in PHRF club level races. An offshore capable 25' footer, rating around 125 phrf would be exciting enough. Simplify the product. No running backstays and no fumbling articulating sprit. A dumbed down TP 52 with a higher disp/length and easier to sail. Even this would require marketing genius to have last more than one big race like transpac or Bermuda 1-2. The Dart is close, but the price isn't. I've sailed a wavelength 24 solo against crewed boats on some local distance races, and it's been lots of fun. It's also been fun with a crew going around the cans. Any mini can't make that claim, which is a problem for the US market. Flame away.

#42 r.finn

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 05:25 PM

To clarify, the wavelength 24 comment is missing the fact that the boat sailed to its rating. From a marketing stand point, winning is important to Americans.

#43 Southern Cross

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 06:35 PM

Finn, interesting take on it. The States has a long history and tradition in Baseball and the mythology associated with it. The same with Football. Basketball is becoming the most popular sport. For kids it's about the money and fame. An accessible sport as well. Shoes, ball and a basket.

The Us has it's heroes too, mostly in flight and space exploration. With it's rich maritime history, few heroes emerged... Slocum?

Reading Gypsy Moth Circles the Globe inside our wooden 26' Swagman, on the mooring in Double Bay in the rain when I was a kid stirred up a lot.

#44 USA_73

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 03:01 PM

I have to say Ryan is dead on. From my own point of view, I have been following the mini class since 2005. I loved the idea, love the boats, but I also needed my wife to be happy. We settled on a Soverel 27, which is small enough to be easily shorthanded, has good sailing characteristics, and #1 priority for the wife: a head (porta-pottie with curtain). We are big enough to sail with 5-6 friends for PHRF, and could weekend cruise with another couple.

 

If it was just distance racing, a mini would be a no-brainer.



#45 Abilyn Racing

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 06:56 AM

I have to say Ryan is dead on. From my own point of view, I have been following the mini class since 2005. I loved the idea, love the boats, but I also needed my wife to be happy. We settled on a Soverel 27, which is small enough to be easily shorthanded, has good sailing characteristics, and #1 priority for the wife: a head (porta-pottie with curtain). We are big enough to sail with 5-6 friends for PHRF, and could weekend cruise with another couple.

 

If it was just distance racing, a mini would be a no-brainer.

I was actually surprised when I was able to convince my wife to allow our first "family boat" to be a Mini.  As it turns out, she loves it.  The existence of a head--and an enclosed one at that--was initially a big draw for her in anything that I showed her.  J/92--no enclosed head.  Crossed it off the list.  

 

But, I told her, the price point is right as we can get top quality performance at a much lower price than a bigger boat.  And, carrying costs would be lower given its size.  Plus, this boat is going to get me out on the water in something that's interesting and exciting to sail.  J Boats?  Everybody and their grandma has one where I sail out of.  Launch drivers tell me how each time they take people out into the harbor, everybody talks about 829.  How can that not get you excited? The Mini is pure sex.  

 

Going back to my convincing argument, I also told my wife (without being able to cite any precedent), that we will be able to cruise and camp on the Mini.  Say what?  But yes.  I can tell you that we have done it.  I've taken my wife and her friend out cruising.  Plus, my wife and I (along with the same friend) took our 3.5 year old girls out cruising in 14 knots of breeze.  No kite, no jib.  But cruising is cruising, regardless of sail configuration.  The kiddies fit nicely in the huge-ass cockpit.  We've also camped on the boat.  My wife, her friend, and I spent a night on the boat after having "ghetto smores" (smores cooked using long-stem lighter) in the cockpit with a lantern hanging from the boom.  We slept like babies.  But, admittedly, we had the worst case of land sickness when we stepped ashore.  

 

So there it is.  Proof as to the versatility of the Mini.  Now, if I could only figure out how to roll my own sails, I could go sail by myself.  Haha, the irony.

 

Best,

 

Abilyn

USA 829 (Pogo 2)



#46 Speng

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 07:05 PM

They might of thought about putting together a few Mexican races to get this thing started before trying to go all epic, ultimate to Hawaii.

Yes some more less-ambitious races might be the ticket to give people the required confidence level.



#47 Southern Cross

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 12:01 AM

So a head injury, possible concussion knocks a guy out of a race he has probably spent many months and mucho bucks preparing for. Could have been worse.

Alone. Many miles offshore. If, when ever would you consider wearing a helmet? Might still be in the race.

Just saying...

#48 mrpelicano

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 12:31 AM

I have to say Ryan is dead on. From my own point of view, I have been following the mini class since 2005. I loved the idea, love the boats, but I also needed my wife to be happy. We settled on a Soverel 27, which is small enough to be easily shorthanded, has good sailing characteristics, and #1 priority for the wife: a head (porta-pottie with curtain). We are big enough to sail with 5-6 friends for PHRF, and could weekend cruise with another couple.

 

If it was just distance racing, a mini would be a no-brainer.

I was actually surprised when I was able to convince my wife to allow our first "family boat" to be a Mini.  As it turns out, she loves it.  The existence of a head--and an enclosed one at that--was initially a big draw for her in anything that I showed her.  J/92--no enclosed head.  Crossed it off the list.  

 

But, I told her, the price point is right as we can get top quality performance at a much lower price than a bigger boat.  And, carrying costs would be lower given its size.  Plus, this boat is going to get me out on the water in something that's interesting and exciting to sail.  J Boats?  Everybody and their grandma has one where I sail out of.  Launch drivers tell me how each time they take people out into the harbor, everybody talks about 829.  How can that not get you excited? The Mini is pure sex.  

 

Going back to my convincing argument, I also told my wife (without being able to cite any precedent), that we will be able to cruise and camp on the Mini.  Say what?  But yes.  I can tell you that we have done it.  I've taken my wife and her friend out cruising.  Plus, my wife and I (along with the same friend) took our 3.5 year old girls out cruising in 14 knots of breeze.  No kite, no jib.  But cruising is cruising, regardless of sail configuration.  The kiddies fit nicely in the huge-ass cockpit.  We've also camped on the boat.  My wife, her friend, and I spent a night on the boat after having "ghetto smores" (smores cooked using long-stem lighter) in the cockpit with a lantern hanging from the boom.  We slept like babies.  But, admittedly, we had the worst case of land sickness when we stepped ashore.  

 

So there it is.  Proof as to the versatility of the Mini.  Now, if I could only figure out how to roll my own sails, I could go sail by myself.  Haha, the irony.

 

Best,

 

Abilyn

USA 829 (Pogo 2)

 

And, in fact, plenty of European Mini owners take their boats on extended cruises.  Googling yields a number of blog entries from such folks.  And, of course, there are the two Frenchmen presently circumnavigating in their Mini (dismasted in the South Pacific but jury rigged with the boom and storm sails and sailed back to port for repairs).  It's really a matter of what your comfort level.  People accustomed to backpacking and camping with what you carry, will find the Mini a spacious experience, compared to a solo tent.

 

With respect to Ryan's comments about a more palatable 25' alternative for the NA market, I don't think it really matters what you build and at what price point, because North Americans (Yanks and Canucks) are simply not interested in high performance, shorthanded offshore racing.  They want to get together with their mates and socialize, and there's nothing wrong with that.  I've had this converation several times with the former owner of CAN 415 and I believe we're in agreement that there simply isn't an "ethos" around this particular niche of our sport.  What you're seeing, instead, is the continual gravitation to family friendly one design classes on boats that are essentially day sailers - e.g., Melges 20's, J70s, Vipers, VXs, etc.  They're all awesome boats, but you're not doing the Bermuda 1-2 or the SHTP on them.  

 

My 2 cents.



#49 killapenguin

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 07:47 AM

Congratulations to Sean McGinn, who finished the Mini 650 Pacific Challenge this morning, sailing his boat Daisy Cutter across Diamond Head in light conditions. He said the craziest part of the sail was the day before the finish, sailing through an intense thunderstorm off of Maui with winds up to 30 knots or so. 

 

Sean got the classic Hawaii style reception, with the Voice of Transpac announcing his entry into the harbor, a Mai Tai in his hands the moment he hit the dock, and an all around great day. 

Attached Files



#50 LeoV

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 05:04 PM

Nice nice, congrat.

 

curious how the boat held structural. But that is my deformation...

Now I can say; minis build by me have sailed in the area from singapore to hawai, anyone want to close the loop ?



#51 Southern Cross

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 11:10 PM

Congrats to Sean especially for sticking it out alone?

The few times I have seen a Mini they seem to really haul. Is 17 days for the course to be expected? Is this a reasonably good time?

#52 r.finn

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:01 AM

It's definitely not fast, but good on him for finishing. I'd love to hear about the trip across.

#53 kokopelli

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 07:14 PM

Maybe not fast, but faster than any one of us did it, and he did it without the comfort of another boat nearby.  That thought alone would have made me sail more conservative.  Also, who knows how much crap is in the water right now...

Congratulations to Sean, I hope you enjoyed the trip.



#54 Total Slacker

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:55 AM

Great Work Sean!!!



#55 TheFlash

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:04 AM

and it was a light year, in a short boat. Hell of an accomplishment.



#56 40Plus

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 03:53 PM

Well done Sean.



#57 Speng

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 06:06 PM

Congrats to Sean especially for sticking it out alone?

The few times I have seen a Mini they seem to really haul. Is 17 days for the course to be expected? Is this a reasonably good time?

I believe a typical ocean speed for a Mini is 150 miles/day? The last Mini Transat was won in a little over 26 days and that's maybe 4000 miles vs 3000 for a Transpac? So not slow even though the Transpac is more downwind and has no Doldrums crossing.



#58 r.finn

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 06:37 PM

Transpac is a little over 2000 miles.




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