If someone offered you the opportunity to cross the Atlantic singlehandedly on a 21 foot monohull, what would you say? It takes a person with guts, ambition, and money to take on this kind of challenge. Mike Inglis has the first two of these qualities, and thanks to local based Palma companies, has had some help with the third. Mike has been first mate on sailing yacht Alize for the past 3 and a half years, he has spent 24 of his 31 years sailing all kinds of yachts and now feels it's time to face his dream, sailing a transatlantic race single handedly. The Mini Transat race occurs every 2 years and usually boasts about 50 competitors, a narrowed down number from the 100 plus who try to qualify for entry. The race begins in France, this year La Rochelle, and usually consists of 2 legs...France to the Canaries, and the Canaries to Caribbean. This year is slightly different because for the first time, the second leg will be Lanzarote to Brazil! The race is called the Mini Transat because the boats racing are only 6 and a half metres long. The boats are similar to skiffs and in France are regarded as one of the most radical ocean-going race boats in use. They are reminiscent of a scaled down version of an open 60, the type of boat that Ellen McArthur sailed singlehandedly around the world. The remarkable thing about these boats is the astounding power to weight ratio...huge sails on a light and small vessel. Here are the statistics: 6.5 metres long, 2.8 metres wide, 2 metres draft and downwind, the sail area of an 11 to 12 metre boat. Mike isn't nervous about his race, which, all going well, should begin on the 22nd of September. The first leg should take between 8 to 14 days, and the second anywhere between 3 to 5 weeks. He has been planning this event for the last 2 years and bought his boat 18 months ago to begin training.

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