Russians in the top 20 of Mini Fastnet


The finish line of the 600-mile offshore Mini Fastnet - 2019 race officially closed on 22 June. Of the more than 80 teams that started from the French Duarnenez to the Irish island of Fastnet on 16 June, only 63rd managed to complete the entire route.

Both Russian crews were among those who managed to complete the race without critical breakdowns.

The Russian-Belarusian tandem of Fedor Druzhinin andAlexander Rachevsky, competing in the proto-flot, returned to Brittanyninth in their division and twelfth overall. The team managed to keep the position they gained on the first day of the race. However, it was not an easy task.

«Suddenly. Out of the fog. There's a lighthouse and rocks 200 metres ahead. "Let's go between the shore and the lighthouse", says Sasha. "Sasha, I say, there is no map. And the lighthouse is usually put from the sea, between the island and the shore there was definitely something". "Well, our keel is up, the draught is only a meter," says Sasha. - And we'll see the storms. Probably." In general when I saw a rock straight ahead (spinnaker, 14 knots, overalls under 3 meters) I put enough bricks for a brick house for the piglets. Sanya to the last refuse to do gybe turn with words "Easy, easy, we'll pass it now". So we raced without bogey, practically on the butterfly. Two morons - that's the power», - said Fedor Druzhinin on his Facebook pageabout the story that «does not show the tracker».

Irina Gracheva andKonstantin Bezpalko, who took off in the series boat, finished 19th in their fleet and 36th among all participants of the regatta, having doubled their position compared to the first day of the regatta.

«I got a really bad start. I was just late, not timing it right. And all the way, I blamed myself for it. Being in the very last echelon of the start line, you can clearly see how much you lose by not having clean wind for a long time.
The start is super important even in a long offshore. There are no minutiae! After passing the Fastnet Lighthouse, there was a restart of sorts - the fleet came together again. A new wind came, as expected, from the east. And we took a more advantageous position», - said Irina Gracheva on her page on Facebook after the finish.

The team also had problems because of the unsuitable spinnaker. The good sail had fallen out of use during the previous events, and the fabric of the old sail, which was taken for replacement, turned out to be critically threadbare.

«It turned out that the sailcloth was so worn out that when the sail was retracted in strong winds the lower luff just ripped off over its entire length. Therefore, at the very beginning of the race we had to carry non-optimal sails and lose», - complained the yachtswoman.

The French crew of Cherche Parteneire, Axel Trehin andThomas Coville became the winner of the regatta and division leader «Proto». Without power (and therefore without compass and helmsman), the crew had not only reached the finish line first after rounding the Fastnet, but also set a new record for the race.

The 600-mile loop by Cherche Parteneire was completed in 3 days, 4 hours, 58 minutes and 26 minutes, a 4-hour improvement on the previous 2017 record. The average speed of the French team was 7.86 knots.

«We didn't eat any hot food. The crossing of the English Channel came out dashing. We fought hard with FrancoisJambou and PascalFievet. They didn't give up and we had to go all out»," said Axel Traine after the race.

Team BFR Maree Haute Jaune's boat Jambou and Fievet finished second, «an hour late».

And Cherche Parteneire nearly dropped out of the race before the start, due to a broken centreboard. It was a mutual help among the French teams.

«The centreboard from 716 [Team BFR Maree Haute Violet, note itBoat] was put on 850 [Hydro Progress, note itBoat] and the one from 850 came on 945 [Cherche Parteneire, note itBoat]. Now the two boats will go with different shoes on each foot. All three boats are the brainchild of Marc Lombard of different generations. The centerboards fit! » - Fedor Druzhinin said before the race.

Team BFR Maree Haute Violet had to reroute from the start because of mast problems, while Hydro Progress returned to port afterwards because of rudder problems during the first day of the race. After the finish, Trein and Coville once again expressed warm thanks to their comrades who helped them out.

Among the production boats, Italian Geomag was the best, finishing seventh in the overall fleet 13 hours after Cherche Parteneire.

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