ALL RACES IN SHORT.

1977 - Daniel Gilard, 28 years old, shipping expert from Nantes, France
The favorite at the departure was the Pole, Jaworski, on a prototype with  double rudders but no main sail. At this time, the first stage was only a rejoining stage and had no affect on the general classification. The Belgian, Patrick Van God, disappeared in the first stage. Guillermo Lopez Alonzo, who replaced his brother on the second stage, was not classified despite his place just behind Daniel Gilard in Antigua.

1979 - Norton Smith from California, USA
Norton sailed to a first place finish on a Wylie-designed prototype not sponsored by American Express. His boat was the first to have water ballast.

1981 - Jacques Peignon, 27 years old, sail designer from Mortagne, France
Christian Massicot disappeared with his Mini on the English coast before the departure on a very strong gale. Orleans Painsol capsized on the first stage and Philippe Pean's boat sank when he was caught in Hurricane Irene. A dozen solo racers were forced to take refuge in Corogne. A Canadian (Steve Callahan, his book 76 days adrift can be still bougth) sank two days after his departure from the Canary Islands and spent 76 days on his life raft eating fish before arriving in the West Indies.

1983 - Stephane Poughon, 26 years old, sail designer from Paris, France
The Mini-Transat is open for the first time to double teams who represent a third of the fleet. Kevlar rigging and movable ballast is introduced. A strong gale was forecast and the race departure was postponed for two days. Stephane Pough won both stages. The Thelier brothers finished second on the first stage and proved that a duo team can be as fast as a solo competitor.

1985 - Yves Parlier Aquitaine, 25 years old, composite materials engineer from Arcachons, France
The Mini-Transat is now organized by Frenchman Jean-Luc Garnier and the 6,50m association. The "Coco" appears. Yves Parlier built a high tech prototype in carbon fiber. He was penalized 16 hours because he took a shortcut on the Raz de Sein.

1987 - Gilles Chiorri , 27 years old, an officer in the merchant service from Brest, France
Weather routing is allowable and some of the racers are equipped with long wave radio and communicate with the shore to receive the best route. Isabelle Autissier, was first to arrive in the Canary Islands, but she could not find the finish line and was overtaken by a Swiss team on a "Coco." Laurent Bourgnon on a "Coco" ultra light won the second stage before Gilles Chiorri. Chiorri was the first winner of the race that did not win both stages.
 

1989 - Philippe Vicariot, 30 years old, mechanical engineer from Brest, France
The mass production boats are now allowed to sail double-handed. Herve Devic, the winner of the first stage, sails back to the Canary Islands due to a broken autopilot. Two boats sank during this stage. The Trade winds were not in the south.


1991 - Damien Grimont, 25 years old, and engineer from Paris, France
Two participants disappear in the first stage: Marie-Agnes Peron in the Gascogne Gulf and Philippe Graber before arriving in the Canary Islands. Several participants request assistance during the second stage: Blanke, Fremont and Naudin. Michel Desjoyaux wins the second stage with an old prototype with the first pendular keel.


1993 - Thierry Dubois, 26 years old, a boat builder from Morbihan, France
A terrible storm blows through the Gascogne Gulf and causes much damage and the disappearance of Pascal Leys. The first leg is abondened and does not count. The second stage is a long surf across the Atlantic with an average speed of 8 knots.


1995 - Yvan Bourgnon, 24 years old, a professional navigator from Switzerland
Sailing west, Yvan finished five hours ahead of Theiry Fagnent, the second place finisher. Olivir Vatinet disappeared in the open sea near the Finisterre Cape. Lionel Lemonchois is in the lead during the second stage, but breaks his mast near the end. The shortest way is the quickest and Thierry Fagnent arrives 4 hours ahead of Yvan Bourgnon, to set a record for the fastest time in the Mini-Transat.


1997 - Sebastien Magnen, 33 years old, a naval architect from Fouesnant, France
The passage of the Finisterre Cape was very rough as usual. Sebastien won the first stage with an average speed of 6.79 knots. During the second stage, the wind was light. Those that choose to go south to pick up the Trade winds arrive several days later. Thomas Coville won the second stage.


1999 - Sebastien Magnen, 35 years old, a naval architect from Fouesnant, France
Seventy boats, a record number, are on the starting line for the 12th Edition of the Mini-Transat. Several more candidates applied but did not qualify in time to make the cut for the race. The 50 participant limit was increased to 70 to allow more skippers to enter. More international sailors were on the starting line than ever before including skippers from New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Cape Verde, Belgium, Spain, England, Italy, Finland, and Scotland. 24 Non French out of 70.

The first stage started off in a severe low pressure system that lasted three days packing 50-60 knot winds and 25-foot seas. Nine participants were air lifted off of their boats. Out of the 70 starters, all but 14 sailed into a safe harbor for repairs, rest or retirement. Sebastien Magnen won the first stage. The second stage was much more forgiving than the first, however, two more participants were rescued. It was a very close race with Erwan Taberly and Sebastien Magnen fighting for first place for several days until about three days out when Sebastien lost part of his rigging and Erwan finished the race in 1st place. With a jury rig, Sebastien finishes in time to win the overall race and set a record for the first participant to win the Mini-Transat race twice.

2001-Yannick Bestaven, 29,French, wins, Simon Curwen is the best non French at the second place.
On the first leg Roberto Varinelli (age 46) disappears after passing Finesterre. So even now with Epirbs, survival suits etc it is still a dangerous race. 18 non French out of 70.

2003-Armel Tripon wins, 27, French. The race where the favourites lossed their masts in sight of the finish. Manuard and McKee who where battling for first both lost their mast due to a small depression that came down the Brasilian coast. Amrel Tripon in is old water ballasted Finot won, and second and third where Lombard designed boats. The foreigners are getting more and more involved, qualified are six Spaniards, four Swiss, two Italians, two Brits, two Americans, two Belgians, an Irishman, a Swede, a New Zealander, a Brasilian, an Israelian. Of 70 sailors, 23 are Non French.

2005-proffesionalism is up again, perfect breeze on the first leg, little duldrums for the leaders means a record finishtime for both legs.
Lots of favourites including ex Vendee sailor, but again the race  is won by a secondtimer, last time a newby won was 1995, but 2003 Mckee was close..
Corentin wins, French, part of proffesional group, good financial plan, good boat.
Manuard design, won first leg, Second Spanish proud, Alex Pella, he won the second leg. Third the Credite Agricole student Maslard (a contest for a sailor below 25, with good plan, sponsor CA) Both on a Lombard design. Special note, i think the biggest return ever in the second leg is for Phil Sharp, from 67 to 6th in a long comeback race after he totally screwed up a "tactical split". First Slovenians did race. There was a healthy number of designer names in the top ten, its preperation that brings you on the top.

Non finishers; Blevec, broken mast 200 miles for finish after a strong race, Claques, broken kickup system rudders, 400m for finish,
Cian McArthy, after 12 hrs in the first leg, broken mast.
 

Serie, A Belgian wins, Lauressen, first time for that i believe, non French serie winner, again good sponsoring and a very dedicated sailor.
Sailed a P2, second a P2, an Italian, but surprise, 3rd a Supercalin from France.
And a first for Singapore, and it was a girl too, in a Zero, a new serie design, like the Dingo and the Ginto (DNF-broke mast) expect to see them faster next race as it takes yrs to get a boat fast.

Non Finishers: 1 Pogo1 I believe,mast breaking (buy a new mast if you have older boat) Mistral, rudder problems, Ginto, mast break,
 

So overall, finishing is:
Determination, preperation, and stay on your boat....

With the now stringenter qualification rules of the Classe Mini the level of prepardness was very high. Hence the low number of Non Finishers, no Epirb activated etc. Seems the Classe Mini did a good job on this, now lets hope that the French authorities sees it the same way and let more boats start.