February 9, 2019
The world famous sailing race “Mini-Transat 2019” (Mini Transat) starts on September 22 in the French La Rochelle. This year, as we have repeatedly told, two Russians will take part at once – Irina Gracheva and Fyodor Druzhinin.
On yachts only 6.5 meters long, athletes have to overcome more than 4,000 nautical miles alone, including 1,350 miles in the first stage to the Canary Islands and 2,700 miles – on the Atlantic crossing.
Note that Irina’s performance in the famous transatlantic sailing race opens a new chapter in the history of sailing of our country and in the history of the competitions themselves: no Russian yachtswoman alone could ever cross the Atlantic before.
This season, the Mini-Transat is 42 years old: in the fall of 1977, twenty-four sailors on 6.5-meter yachts first entered the single-player transatlantic race. In the year of the fortieth anniversary of the regatta, more than 80 athletes participated in it, 11 of them being women. It so happened that the fashion today is asked by the French: most riders come from France. The only Russian participant in Mini-Transat is still considered Yuri Firsov, who passed the race in 2015.
Ultra-modern high-speed yachts, built according to the rules of the Mini 650 class, take part in the Mini-Transat races. Under these rules, they are all divided into two divisions – production boats and prototypes (experimental designs). Interestingly, Irina Gracheva and Fyodor Druzhinin perform in different groups, so Russian fans will have the opportunity to get acquainted in detail with the features of the yachts presented in both categories.
The previous year demanded that the future participants of Mini-Transat 2019 expend significant resources – physical, moral, financial. Preparation and repair of boats, qualification regattas and training crossings, hundreds of hours spent at sea in the struggle with the elements, solitude, rivals. In the months remaining before the start, the Russians will have to walk another 2.5 thousand miles, speaking in various European regattas and competitions of single yachtsmen. In the implementation of ambitious plans, Irina and Fedor rely on the help of friends and philanthropists, creating around themselves teams of like-minded people and partners who are able to carry out their plans.
To date, the yachtsmen have done a huge preparatory work, the results of which will form the basis of their participation in the decisive race. Let's hope for our compatriots – successful participation.
Irina Gracheva, winner of the transatlantic transition speed record on the yacht Class 40, participant of the Mini-Transat 2019:
“For me, Mini-Transat is a real challenge, the ability to test yourself for strength and do something worthwhile. From the very beginning of the project, I set myself quite ambitious goals. However, the reality turned out to be even tougher than I expected: sometimes it seemed that it was simply impossible to fulfill my plans … Perseverance and really hard work helped. After the completion of qualification tests, I am officially registered to participate in the race, and now I am doing everything possible to gain more experience and pass it with dignity. I was lucky to have great support from family, friends, and all those who believed in me. My team is open for cooperation, and I am ready to accept strong and courageous partners in my project. ”
Fedor Druzhinin, the participant of Mini-Transat 2019:
“Every athlete has a dream. For some, this is the Olympic Games, for someone – climbing Everest. Mini-Transat is the most important race in my yachting career, and I am very grateful for the help and support of my friends and partners – the Russian company ASSIST and the International Yacht Training Association. For us, the Russian participants, the preparation for the race itself is complicated by the fact that we are removed from the main area of the training races – the Atlantic. Therefore, our two-year training plan has long been turned into a difficult puzzle. But I am sure that we will solve all the problems and will cope with all the tasks. It can't be any other way! ”
Important additional information:
Irina Gracheva: +7 911 9894038, [email protected]
Fedor Druzhinin: +7 911 9395130, [email protected]
329 February 9, 2019 # 8782