With the Vende Globe ending, things in Mini world are about to kick off with a bang. Entries are in for the majority of my races in Europe this season and I have now booked my flights to Milan from Australia where I will hire a car and drive down to Talamone to meet the newly painted RG650 and start tuning her up for the biggest Mini season ever!
The RG650 remains in the care of fellow Australian Brett Perry in Valencia and will soon be packed up and put onto a truck to be shipped to Talamone in Italy where we will do some two boat tuning with some other RG650’s. This will be the first time that I have sailed against another RG650, so it will be great to get some two boat tuning working for some more boat speed and more advanced trimming. This will put us in good stead for the season in France where the first race is still months away.
My intention is to race in the Archipelago Talamone with Bret as a double handed race. This is a relatively short race but will be a good shake down for the season and a great chance to test the improvements that have been made on the boat while also fine tuning the mechanics of the boat such as auto-helm and instruments.
Straight after the Archipelago Talamone I will pack the boat up with two weeks worth of food and set off on my 1000nm qualifier around the Mediterranean. The course is set and I will need to do some celestial navigation and a number of other challenges as I sail around set waypoints to cover over 1000nm of solo non-stop passage. Sailing around for a couple of weeks in the Mediterranean sounds pretty relaxing dosnt it??? Not in at the start of April, when winds can be unpredictable and bitterly cold as they blow down off the snow capped alps. This will be a tough challenge and im sure I will be dreaming of the Canaries and Guadalupe for the majority of the two weeks! Ill have to make sure I have a sunny playlist on the ipod for that one!
If I manage to get around the 1000nm in under two weeks there will be some icing on the cake, as there may be a chance that I will be able to compete in another Italian race before shipping the boat back to France- The Gran Premio d Italia. This is a longer race than the Talamone, and will give me enough miles to qualify for the Mini Transat and some excellent experience on the water racing against Italians best!
Once the boat is packed up after the Italian regatta’s I will put it on a truck for Lorient in France and I will have to head back to Australia to do some work off the Australian coastline to help fund my epic adventure.
For now, I am on countdown for what feels like Christmas.. I cant wait to be thrashing about in the RG650 again – Bring on Mini Season 2013!
Mini’s at the start of the Transat in 2011. Imagine your company name on one of these sails and conducting some enjoyable business on the support boat while watching the start. Richard Hewson is still looking for a major sponsor for the RG650 AUS816. This is an amazing campaign to be involved with, and with over 6 million fans, the ROI for your company is guaranteed to be significant and fun!