The Mini 6.50 boat class is particularly widespread in France, but it is also enjoying growing popularity in Germany. These are ocean-going boats, which with a length of 6.50m still behave like dinghies, but have everything you need for an Atlantic crossing. Comfort is not what you are looking for: a bucket serves as toilet, shower, kitchen or bed are not available and the food consists of freeze-dried food. Another special feature of the Classe Mini is the lack of communication and navigation without an electronic chartplotter. Only GPS, VHF radio and paper sea charts are allowed.
Every season there are about 15 regattas, mainly in the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean. The highlight is the biannual Mini Transat, a solo Atlantic crossing in two stages.
The regatta has served most of the well-known offshore sailors as a springboard for their further sailing career. The two currently most successful German offshore regatta sailors, Boris Herrmann and Jörg Riechers, also took part in the <em>Mini Transat</em> a few years ago.
My boat with the boat number 982 is a Wevo 6.5, a brand new 2019 serial mini by the architect Oris D’Obaldo and his office Skyron and built by Cima Boats in Grosseto, Italy.
Choosing the right yacht design was anything but easy at the current stage of development. The tendency in the minis is more and more towards a voluminous bow, a so-called “scow bow”, which is supposed to give the front part of the boat more buoyancy and thus make it even faster, especially when reaching.
The Wevo has a round bow, the volume of which lies between that of a Pogo 3 and a Maxi. One could call it a “semi-scow”. I hope that this will not only give me a high performance in reaching but also good speed in light wind on close-hauled courses. Therefore the design is not as extreme as for example the Maxi 650 and will also score points in light wind and deep downwind conditions. Strongly pronounced chines, prominent kinks in the lower part of the hull, especially in the rear section, create a hull shape where the wetted area remains identical on all courses. Everything is designed for absolute weight optimization. The individual parts are manufactured using an infusion process. This means that the glass fibre mats are not laminated by hand, but the polyester resin (specified by the class regulations) is drawn evenly into the reinforcement fibres by means of vacuum. This makes the structure lighter and at the same time improves its strength properties. Due to the numerous regulations of the Classe Mini, the hull shell must be finished with a solid laminate, while a more elaborate sandwich construction is used for the deck. A very low-density foam core in the laminate ensures a very light structure with high rigidity.
While the boat had a grey-green branding for the first season, the takeover of my main sponsor also involved a colour and branding change. The hull was refoiled and the sails were also reprinted. In orange we entered the regatta season 2020!