MINI 6.50 40

Yachting World - - 50 Yachts -

With just 21ft LOA to build a sin­gle-handed boat ca­pa­ble of cross­ing the At­lantic, de­sign­ers are forced to find cre­ative so­lu­tions in the Mini Proto class in the search for per­for­mance and sta­bil­ity. One devel­op­ment first tested in the Mini was the cant­ing keel.

The first was Michel Desjoyeaux’s 1991 en­try: “I made the first off­shore rac­ing boat with a cant­ing keel, ad­justable bowsprit fold­ing along the sheer line, and a lot of de­tails now com­mon on those boats and big­ger,” Desjoyeaux re­calls.

“The ad­justable bowsprit was for gy­bing the kite from the cock­pit – in those days pi­lots were poor, and the kites were big.”

Ellen Macarthur then sailed an­other ex­per­i­men­tal Fau­roux cant­ing Mini, Le Pois­son, in the 1995 Transat. Mark Turner re­calls: “Mi­nis are great for devel­op­ment as the loads are ‘hand-held’ level – so the orig­i­nal con­cept can be de­vel­oped without the com­pli­ca­tions of power and hy­draulics. Uniquely they didn’t get the hull fit­tings sorted in Ellen’s boat, so there was a to­tally blocked off area right up to the roof, which made liv­ing in­side even smaller than a nor­mal Mini. Of course that didn’t bother Ellen too much…

“Sim­pler to op­er­ate than water bal­last, es­pe­cially for the solo sailor (and much quicker to tack), the cant­ing keel, which re­mains a main­stay sys­tem to this day, was an im­me­di­ate per­for­mance leap. Of course it was the boat that started her solo rac­ing ca­reer too.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.