My first Class Mini 6.50 season came to its end. It was a very exciting year!
After my first race, the doublehanded BSM Lorient, it was time for my first solo sailing experiences. I managed to fnish my first solo race, the 300 nautical miles long Pornichet Select. After some concentration on university exams, I unfortunately fell ill and wasn't able to participate, as plannned, in the Mini Fastnet race. It would have been a huge part of my qualificational miles for the Mini Transat, so I had to find another way to get my miles... Two races in the Mediterranean Sea seemed to be the best choice: the 500nm long Mare Nostrum, which I sailed doublehanded with Sverre Reinke and which was a really great race in sunny Spain, and the Mini Barcelona in early October. This one was singlehanded again, 300nm fom Barcelona, around Menorca and back to Barcelona.
But before, I set off to Ireland to do my 1000nm singlehanded qualifier. It took me 10 days and was far my biggest sailing and solitude experience. It was very tough with wind up to 40knots in the Channel and almost all days through grey weather, rain and a lot of wind. But I did it and I arrived back in La Rochelle.
So all in all, I am very satisfied with 2016 as I achieved my aim and was allowed to do the inscription for the Mini Transat at Paris boat show in December.
So stay tuned on how it goes on in 2017...
I arrived in Lorient around Easter, so two weeks before the first race of the season: the 150nm long doublehanded "Bretagne Sud Mini Lorient".
Stormy and wet weather kept us in the harbour for the first three days. Gusts up to 50 knots gave us some time under deck to check the equipment. Fortunately wind decreased then and we were able to test the boat in different wind and weather conditions. Sometimes the huge Atlantic swell gave me an idea of what the races can be. We got up almost all kites and practiced a lot of manoevres.
When my boyfriend Sverre Reinke, co-skipper for these training days, went back home, there were still some days left until the start of the race. Now the real race preparation began: security control, rechecking the boat, doing navigation,...
76 (!) boats were registered for the race, a new record. There were three possible race courses both about 150nm and between Îles de Glénans and Banc de Guérande/Belle Île. Instead of preowner Chris Luekermann I raced together with Australian Katrina Ham (Katrina Ham Racing).
The weather predicition was very windy and it was going to be an up-wind race most of the time. The start was held on Saturday 13:00 in about 20 knots of wind. After having passed Île de Groix, wind and waves increased and with 2 reefs in the main sail and 1 reef in the jib, we were able to overtake some boats. We arrived at the Glenans by twilight, surrounded them tacking all the time and then headed back to Belle Île. Unfortunately the wind turned as we did, so we had to go up-wind again. A dark and wet night was waiting for us, the wind still increasing up to 30-40 knots. At 03:00 we changed to the storm jib. At dawn we were still tacking between Quiberon and Belle Île, trying to make it to the windward waypoint. It would have taken hours and hours... As there was a very close time limit to get to the finish line, we decided not to beat against anymore but to turn around heading back to Lorient. There wasn't any possibility to make it to the line in time.
Everything was fine on board and although we were quite exhausted after such a night, we would have continued without that time limit.
It was a great experience though and I learned a lot!
Now it's time for two weeks at university before heading back to Lorient to do my first singlehanded race, the Pornichet Select.
It definitely took some time and a lot of effort, but now I can proudly share the good news: I finally found a sponsor for my boat! The German company “CPM Hubert Hell GmbH” just acquired the Mini #732, which pre-owner Chris Luekermann successfully sailed during the previous Mini Transat Race 2015. I will be able to use this Pogo 2, manufactured in 2008, until the very end of my campaign after returning from the Caribbean in the end of 2017.
In the last few days I traveled to Lorient, so that Chris could hand me over the boat, and together we could make the first practice sessions on the water. It was a purely exciting moment and I am so much looking forward to all the experiences I will have when sailing on this boat! Prior to this first practice, a lot of mails, phone calls and meetings were necessary.
I again send my biggest regards to Hubert Hell, without whom this huge step would not have been possible. Thank you very much!
Furthermore, the regatta season 2016 has completely been planned, and the first registrations have already been completed. The 150nm long double-handed regatta “Bretagne Sud Mini (BSM) Lorient” on April, 9 will constitute my kick-off event, where I will sail together with Chris. In the following months, I will compete in the singlehanded 300nm long race “Pornichet Sélect” and in the doublehanded “Mini Fastnet” race before starting my Qualifier. This course has to be sailed singlehanded, without any stopover and on a 1000nm long predetermined route. To finish the regatta season, I have two more races scheduled: the “Kaya Ropes” in La Rochelle and the “Chrono 6.50” starting from Lorient.
Lastly, one of the oldest and most established sailing clubs in Germany, the “Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee” (VSaW) from Berlin has an interest in supporting my project. I am looking forward to officially start for the VSaW during my Mini Transat campaign.
Last week I received a new support on Monaco Funding from Alexis who lives in the United States and is until now the supporter living the farthest away.
Thank you very much!
Please, continue sharing and supporting my project!!
And they are off! The Mini Transat 2015 started last Saturday (19th September).
I was able to travel to Douarnenez to have a look at the boats, to wish luck to some of the skippers and to watch the start. The atmosphere at the pontoons was incredible and I spent there a few exciting days until a fulminant start in perfect conditions. Hopefully every skipper will experience a great and safe race to Lanzarote!
This trip to Brittany definitely emphasized my aim to be at the starting line on my own during the 2017 edition!
Here you can follow the race: http://www.minitransat-ilesdeguadeloupe.fr/?lang=en
For more photos look here
Over the last weeks, there appeared several articles in German newspapers, I became interviewed in two TV broadcasts and gave a talk at Kölner Yacht Club in Cologne about my project.
Here is the link of a live interview about my plans by the regional TV broadcaster Radio Bremen at the tall ships event "Sail Bremerhaven" on 12/08: http://www.radiobremen.de/mediathek/index.html?id=125104
Last saturday (15/08) I was as a guest in the studio of Cologne's regional broadcaster köln.tv. Have a look at the interview here: http://www.koelntv.com/…/koe…/das-magazin-vom-15-august-2015
There is a great article at the blog active-outside about my first race in the Class Mini - have a look at it here!
Let me add some personal words:
Although not all went smoothly on board of Dominik's prototype 348 as one of our rudders broke just 7nm before Fastnet Rock and we consequently had to retire from the race, the time at sea was a
great experience for me.
After quite a slow move up to Land's End due to poor windspeed, we had to face a rudder breakage only 7 miles before rounding the most northern waypoint, Fastnet Rock. A shame! With one rudder left, we were able to make the 280nm back to Douarnenez on our own. Notwithstanding we had to abandon the race after this technical problem. After a long cruise downwind without spinnaker, we arrived in Douarnenez by 18:00 on Friday evening, 19th June.
I will absolutely continue searching for sponsors in order to get on with my own project!
After having passed my final exam at my university in Belgium on friday, I am going to head to Douarnenez in Brittany for the start of the “Mini Fastnet” on Sunday, 14th June. It will be about 600 nautical miles doublehanded from Douarnenez, passing Île d’Ouessant, sailing through Wolf’s Rock and Land’s End, off to the famous Fastnet Rock in the South of Ireland and back to Douarnenez. I will be on board of Dominik Lenk's prototype GER 348. You can follow us at the race tracker: http://minifastnet.winchesclub.org/blog/category/positions/
Just in time for the start of the „Mini Fastnet“, the german watersports shop LENZ Rega-Port announced its sponsorship for my project by supporting me with a TPS survival suit from Guy Cotton! That’s really amazing! Thank you very much for this support! http://www.lenz-rega-port.de/
Have a look at a new article from Hubert Hell at his web blog active-outside: http://blog.active-outside.com/sailing/lina-rixgens-mini-transat-campaign-picking-up-speed
I had a great saturday on the water on board of Uwe Liehr's Mini 6.50 (http://www.liehr-sailing.com/), reaching along with 12.5 knots speed along the German Baltic coast near Kiel. I raced together with Uwe in the 24hours-Race
last year and it was really good to get on the water again, especially as it was the last training before the start of the Mini Fastnet in the middle of June.
Here you can
find a nice article from Uwe about this day!
Now it's official: our inscription for the Mini Fastnet 2015 is confirmed! In June I will join Dominik Lenk on his boat to do this doublehanded race from Douarnenez in France around the famous
Fastnet Rock near the Irish coast and back to France. I do already look forward to it very much!
I'm very happy to announce that FRISCH will also support me with products from Spinlock. A big thank you to FRISCH for supporting me with first-class products from Musto, Harken and from now on Spinlock!
On the 1st of March I had the opportunity to introduce my project at my home sailing club near Cologne.
It was an interesting afternoon with nice attendants and delivered some great ideas.
Thank you very much!
Hubert Hell, administrator of the web blog "Active Outside" introduced my project into his actual projects and wrote a nice article about my aim. Thanks!
Have a look here