The French Classe Mini Assocation;
Site www.classemini.com
Italian;
www: http://www.velanet.it/mini650

Qualification, a big hurdle, but born out of need;
How to get qualified (according the rules of 2003) ?
It is all in the rules book, you can get it from the Class Mini, online now for free 05.
But here in very short, without going in details;
1- 1000 miles singlehanded, on the boat you want to sail with. One stop of 72 hr. max. In Europe there is an Atlantic and a Mediterranean course out of which you can choose. If you are far away from this (3 days sailing or so), propose your own qualification course to the Classe Mini. You have to let the Class Mini know by a form that you are leaving (available on their website). You have to let a logbook signed by start and finish (and stop). Some requirements for the log are; Celestial navigation (twice at least), weather reports, 8 times a day all normal log observations, sails and sail changes, damages etc. You are asked to carry your Epirb and liferaft..
THIS ALL CAN BE DONE WHILE YOU ARE NOT EVEN A MEMBER OFF THE CLASS MINI. BUT YOU HAVE TO BE MEASURED BY A CLASS MINI OFFICIAL, they are present on each official Mini Class Race.
AND YOU HAVE TO ANNOUNCE YOUR DEPARTMENT AND FINISH to them, do not forget that when you stop halfway.... (he, J)

GREAT story of qualification trip can be found here....

2-You have to sail 1000 Miles in races off the Class Mini qualification races, on the boat you want to race in. One with at least a 500 miles nonstop leg. As you are going to meet people that knows it much better then me, ask further there ;) And one race must be sailed in the year of the Minitransat race, this race must be more then a day race.  And one race must be sailed solo. You have to be a member of the Class Mini to race...

There is no obligation to do first 1 then 2.....

Attention points, if you change curtain aspects of your boat, you have to do the qualification process al over, this includes -keel -bulb -structure -keel position --stability changes -structural integrity, you see the Class Mini tries to be safe ;)
If you already have sailed the Minitransat, then you are excerpted for curtain aspects, but as you have already sailed it, you should know where to get the right information so I will not go into details.

Inside: The French Mini Class, a few facts, (2005).

The Classe is voluntary based, all lot of the people who spend a lot of time organizing, discuss and creating this race are Non Paid. The secretaries get now normal pay, astonishing... I had a sneak in a mailbox of one voluntary member, 200 emails a day is not exceptional... and he had a normal job nextto it...
I have dealt with the Class Mini, and all I can say, it is actually amazing that there are so many races and boats ;) So many people involved, so many work to do, mostly voluntary. If you think the sailors are nuts, do not forget the board members.

The French Classe Mini organization has around 300 members. So you know the budget, as 100 Euro's a person is the fee. Compare that low figure to the fees of the Figaro, Open 60 Classe etc.

The members of the board are chosen by the sailors, have to own or owned a Mini, and have to be a member of the Class. This ensures that the board is made out of sailors and is a reflection of the sailors participating.

Biggest issue is that the communication is difficult. As there is not an office where someone is available the whole week the whole year. And there is (was?) no budget for translations...