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6.50 Mini

Aug 28, 2009 8 Comments by


Greeting yachties,

There has been a lot of chatter lately about these hot little yachts and on the 13th September  a gaggle of them will slip and slide their way across the Atlantic. Below is a collection of stories, video and some of the yachties involved in this exciting class.

If you have a link/story/image or video you would like featured here, send it in.


Mini’s in the US here

Ok, by now you would have guessed that there is this guy in Germany, known on SOL as brainaid he is a yachtie and writes routing software for real life yachties and in particular mini guys. He has sent me his opinion of the next few days on which way to go and he wants to share his thoughts with you.

Hi Steve,

Some news before the start. Actually I see two options with the tricky weather. Option one is to head into the low on a westerly course for a little less than a day, then tack towards the Cape Verde islands. This promises less danger of calms until reaching Cape Verde, but has stronger winds during the first day and medium to low wind between west of Canaries and Cape Verde. Option two is to head straight to the Canaries, avoiding much of the stronger upwind part. There is a promise of strong northerly winds down the African coast near half way between Canaries and Cape Verde. The danger is getting held of by light air right after passing the Canaries. The brainaid Ocean Racing forecasts favor each of the two options in turn with every weather update, and once decided the skippers have little chance to switch to the other option. So it will be rolling dice for the Minis, I wish them a good hand for the weather!








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Brainaid Reports from the Transat Mini650 Race

Moin Norbert, ich habe ein paar Fragen von Steve Alloway aus Neuseeland, er betreibt die Internet Seite mit aktuellen Segelnachrichten rund um die Welt. Ich habe Steve geholfen, das Transat 6.50 und die Mini 6.50 ein wenig zu portraitieren. Das ganze kommt bei den Neuseelaendern gut an und Steve bittet um ein Interview fuer seine Seite. Falls Du ein Logo mit einem Link zu Deinem Blog in dem Interview platziert haben magst, ist das bestimmt moeglich, maile einfach die Sachen mit… Steve bedankt sich sehr fuer Deine Antworten. Wenn Du eine kurze Geschichte zum Rennverlauf anhaengen moechtest, oder sonst noch etwas hinzufuegen magst, gerne! Wenn Du ein paar

Fotos mitschicken kannst waere das Klasse. Liebe Gruesse, Eddie


Hi Norbert, You just finished leg 1 of the Transat 6.50, a single handed race from France to Brazil on boats just 6.5m long. Congratulations! The New Zealand yachting news site would like to ask for an interview, there is great interest in the Mini 6.50 and the Transat. yachtyakka thanks you for your time and comments! Eddie


What do you love about the mini650? Its the possibility to do offshore racing. The circuit with qualification courses brings you on the way to learn a lot about your boat, wheater, staying offshore for days. After a couple of thousend of qualification miles the dream of the MINITRANSAT becomes reality.


What preparation have you done for this race and how long have you been building up for it? I was saving money for a couple of years. Then finally I bought the boat in 2006. First with training on the baltic sea. There real qualification I did in France in 2008, when I sailed 7000nm in races, but just 3900 count, because of Time elapsing or race abondens. This took me 4 month in 2008, ended up with the SOLO race “Les Sables – Les Acores” (2 Legs with each 1200 nm singlehandes to the Acores Islands and back to Les Sables)


What is the attraction of sailing such a little yacht on the ocean by yourself with no outside contact for weather routing once the starting gun is fired? If I am well prepaired I can count on my boat. The boat is made for it, I now it can handle 40+ knots upwind for 24 hours. (Les Sables – Les Acores 2008). I feel absolute safe with the boat.


This first leg was mostly down wind in 15-20 knots, how do you rest (sleep) with the kite up surfing down ocean swells? If i have the kite up I dont sleep. For me at the moment the safety and material comes before finishing better. First of all: I want to finish! The next leg is almost 3000 miles, what food do you take with you? Freeze dried? Ready made home cooking? Freeze dried and fruits for the beginning of the race (as long the are fresh, crackes, cookies, some chocolate…)


How do you mentally prepare for such a long trip in such a small boat? Its my wish for a lot of years to do it. So, its always in my head and i am thinking for years to have this experience. And I have some good music with me.


How much study of the weather patterns have you done? Not that much. For me is importent: I know where i have to go and I know I can handle all weather situations.


Are there any outstanding moments during leg 1 you would like to share? I am very happy that I am doing what I am dreaming of a few years. For me its just that I take every minute and enjoy — even the day with some stomach problems…;-)


What plans do you have for the future? Open 60? Vendee Globe? Volvo? Right after this race I will be back at my desk for my usual job. what I want do then I will see after I while… To do the T650 was a dream from me. visit Norberts blog here



100_0747 []


Der letzte Abend vor dem Start… September 12th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Qualifizierung Transat 6,50, Transat 6,50 … ist sonnig 🙂 Nach zwei sehr intensiven Arbeitswochen der finalen Vorbereitung ist 338 “Coconut Run” mit Skipper Norbert MAIBAUM für das “Transat 6,50 – Charente Maritime – Bahia 2009″ nun startklar. Wie es so ist gab es die ein oder andere Hürde zu überwinden… die noch verbleibende ist die Startlinie. Der Start zum Mini-Transat 2009 fällt morgen am 13. September um 14.09 Uhr vor La Rochelle. Es gibt bereits an dieser Stelle fiel zu berichten – allein der Zeitmangel am letzten Abend und die mit Besuchern vollen Stege hier mitten in La Rochelle – rufen mich zurück zum Boot. Aus diesem Grund einige eingefangene Eindrücke der letzten Tage.

more here

brainaid here


History of Minis:

Numbers – Alphabetic List – Productions – Architects – Concurrents

go here




What is the Classe Mini ?

October 8th, 1977, 24 “21 feet sailing boats” single handed left Penzance (United Kingdom) for Antigua with a stopover in Tenerife (Canary Islands). The smallest offshore racing boats were born and so was their favourite race : the Mini Transat. Every odd year, they will meet on their favourite playground : the Atlantic.

What is the Classe Mini ?
French sailors are getting more and more numerous each year. The Organisation then crosses the English channel. In 1984, Jean Luc Garnier, journalist passionately fond of these mini “racing boats” takes over Brit Bob Salmon who wishes to quit after having organised four editions. “Voiles 6.50”, an un-profit making association affiliated to the French Sailing Federation is then created and organises the Mini-Fastnet, an annual race leaving Brittany to the Irish Rock and back. A new birth is given to the Minis.

In 1985, The Mini-Transat starts and arrives in France, from Brest to Pointe à Pitre with a stopover in Santa Cruz de Ténérife. Thanks to “La Mini-Max”, the Mediterranean Minis can race in 1986. In 1988, a new race comes to complete the calendar, “La Transgascogne” that starts from Port Bourgenay. In 1991, Dominic Bourgeois and Loïc Ponceau have the idea to create “Le Challenge Mini” so that the Minis can meet every year.

In 1994, “Voiles 6,50” is divided in two different structures separating the Race Organisation (Voiles 6,50) and the sporting management (Classe Mini). The same year, the Italians who are getting more and more numerous create their own Classe in association with the French Classe Mini which keeps all the responsibility regarding the Rules.

more here

From the Forums,

links to lots of movies here










Сейчас в срочном порядке доделываем проект лодки. Но есть спорные моменты которые пока не получилось решить.
Вопрос первый — крышка капа. Её дезигн мне не очень нравится. А вам? И что бы в ней поменять для большей красивости?


peoples inside

Второй вопрос по обитаемости и внутреннему обустройству. Как оно должно быть на такой лодке? Какие предпочтения, пожелания? На картинке ниже, размеры входного люка, если делать наклон больше, то крадется место в каюте, центральная лебедка становится дольше, но удобнее входить. Если наоборот, вертикальнее вход делать, то входить не удобно, но лебедка ближе и каюта больше, хоть и этот объем полезным не назовешь. На Пого2, залезть в каюту, у меня получмлось задом 🙂 На новых серийных лодках, почему-то вообще наклона не делают, т.е. залезать надо, как в конуру на четвереньках — это считаю совсем не правильный вариант.

more here


Mini Fastnet 2009 – Hennebont un jour, Hennebont pour toujours

Lundi 22 Juin, je prends enfin le départ de Kinsale.

En fin d’après-midi, la mer est plate et le vent évanescent. Les conditions sont très douces. Au vu des lettres collées dans ma grand voile, un équipage Irlandais s’écrit “Vive la France!”. A la sortie de la rivière, une famille de dauphins croisent ma route. Le plaisir est bien au rendez vous de ces quelques premières longueurs.

Au petit matin, je traverse un banc de brume. On ne voit pas à 30 mètres et c’est bien  évidemment dans ces circonstances que le Mer Veille ( l’instrument de signaler la présence d’un cargo) se manifeste! J’observe, j écoute, je suis en attente. Le cargo peut être loin mais je cherche dans la brume une étrave ou une ombre. Pas de bruits de moteurs.

Dans l’après-midi du mardi, le vent monte jusqu’ à atteindre 25 noeuds. Je me prépare à essuyer un nouveau coup de vent en prenant deux ris dans la grand voile et en préparant le ris du solent.

more  here





Vse skupaj se je zacelo se kar vzpodbudno. Nisem zamudil nobenega aviona, ujel sem vsa ta prava letalisca in se nasploh izognil vsem tezavam, ki me obcasno doletijo na poti…Razen tega, da sem prejsnji dan praznoval rojstni dan in sem bil malo slab, in da je Jorg izkljucil telefon, je bilo vse ok . Torej sem s svojo popotno malho na rami zakorakal v SNCL, to je jadralni klub v Marseillu, in poiskal najvecjega plesastega Nemca tam. Zelo se me je razveselil in potrdil da je on Jorg in da je barka ready in da greva na vecerjo in pir. Potem sva sla spat v en blok, v ghetto, v stanovanje ki sva si ga delila s tremi nizozemci. Drugi dan sva sla na barko in jasno je bilo se polno nekih malenkosti, da sem bil kar malo obupan . Cel dan je vladala rahla anarhija in bilo je tudi zelo vroce, ampak sva spravila skupaj ene par ur efektivnega dela. Potem sva sla zgodaj spat, ker je jutri start in se par malenkosti.

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From NZL

284 hc

In 94, Chris introduced himself to small boat designer J. Welsford with the words: “I’ve got no money, but I’d like you design me a boat for mT.
I’m aiming for 1997”. Sayer built the cedar and glass boat himself working hour after hours. He estimates he has put more than Nzdollars 60 000, without 1200 hours labour.

1996 Round Northern Island en double: le plus petit bateau, ??. Eq: Rob NEELEY, Chris SAYER
New Plymouth-Moolooaba: en solo, plus petit bateau de la flotte: ??.

284 Pho

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There is also plenty of races like the solo Tasman, RNI and Auckland to Fiji/Noumea races that could be part of the circuit. This could eventually be our own version of the transat.

Dan Leech and Matt Stenchman have been working on a prototype Mini for NZ, built out of Ply with a stripped plank Cedar bottom and a canting keel, these boats will be easy to build and FAST!
Some of the concepts include a quick release keel setup for easy transporting and a full kitset build package.
We are looking at potentially building the first one to get things started.
Imagine 10 of these things on the start line for an offshore race or RNI!
Are there any other people that would consider building their own 650 (or getting one built) and competing. We need to know if something like this would have potential to grow and if so then the first boat can be used to set up moulds and cut files for kitset.




le mini mk2 021

LE rig prelim 005

LE mini views 008

LE mini tow test 1 011

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Welcome to The Mini Class U.S.

The Mini is a 21-foot high-performance ocean racing sailboat. Though not well known in the US, the Mini has achieved immense popularity across Europe. An active racing circuit culminates in the Mini-Transat, a 4,000 mile transatlantic race from France to Brazil.

Our goal is to introduce the Mini to sailors in the US while encouraging the excitement and competition that Mini racing is widely known for. By providing a reliable source of localized information from the international Classe Mini and a single source of access to products, knowledge, and a network of designers, owners and racers, we’ll help you acquire a Mini and outfit a successful racing campaign.

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M65_C-1_w600 []

The seeds of the M65 were planted more than five years ago through Mini Store founder Jeffrey Dingle’s involvement with managing an American sailor‘s 2003 Mini Transat campaign. Several trips to France and a trip to Brazil provided a first hand introduction to the very unique, exciting world of the European mini scene and lots of new friendships with the skippers, designers, builders and organizers who collectively comprise the Mini Class. The experience also spawned an idea – how about bringing the Mini to America?

Push ahead the calendar to February 2009 and the first Production (Series) Mini made in America sailed for the first time on the waters of Biscyane Bay off Miami, Florida. Designed by UK naval architects Owen Clarke Design, the M65 presents an exciting new sailboat for the North American market – while designed to be 100% compliant with all the technical and safety requirements of Classe Mini for anyone interested in racing in Europe. Note: several miniscule revisions / additions will be made on the first and subsequent M65s to comply with recent changes to the Classe Mini rules for Series boats -a copy of the Guide Mini 2009 is posted on the website.

If you’re interested in an affordable, high performance, trailerable sailboat that you can dry sail, day sail, take off on for the weekend, a week, a month, or sail across hundreds or thousands of miles of ocean – or race 4,300 nm solo from France to Brazil – then have a look at the M65.

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Events, Links, New yachts, News, Racing, Video

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8 Responses to “6.50 Mini”

  1. Mulligan2 says:

    yy –
    a nice video i didnt see on you mini transat page

    kind of late, but a good one in english

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