A new president and big plans for 2023

Following a record breaking season with more competitors on the starting line than ever before, Classe Mini has ended the year by electing a new president.

Mini Fastnet 2022 - Copyright Manon Le Guen
Mini Fastnet 2022 - Copyright Manon Le Guen

At the general assembly in Paris, Amélie Grassi, who will be taking part in next year’s Ocean Race, was replaced by Jean Marre as class president. Marre came out on top of the leaderboard in the production class standings for the 2022 season.

The season also saw a record number of competitors - 245 - in both the prototype and production classes with sailors able to clock up 8,000 miles over the course of the 18 events in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. There was also an increase in the number of female competitors and over 100 boats set a new record for starters in the ‘Mini in May’ race.

With next season’s series of events concluding with September’s centrepiece Mini Transat from Sables d'Olonne to Guadeloupe via the Canary Islands, the 2023 season promises to build on this year’s success.

Incoming president Jean Marre said: “It's been one hell of a season for the Classe Mini. There were more boats than we’ve had in the past and there were some concerns over whether everyone would be able to do the races they wanted but we were quite satisfied and very few skippers were not able to participate in the races they wanted to. The flagship race of the 2022 season, the SAS (Les Sables – Les Açores – Les Sables) was also full for the first time.”

“2023 promises to be at least as intense or even more so for the class, especially with the amount of organisation required for the Mini Transat 2023.

“In addition, we are keen to organise an event in tribute to Marc Chopin, organiser of the Mini Transat 2021, who recently passed away following a long illness. It was really sad because Marc was a pillar of our community who organised some memorable events like the Mini Transat in 2021 which was great despite all of the unimaginable twists and turns with storms and volcanoes providing challenges to the organisers.”

Keeping the ‘born in mini’ spirit alive so that races are accessible to both those racing in cutting edge prototypes, or series, as well as rookies, with limited budgets, taking their first steps in offshore racing, is also important.

Jean Marre said: “We need diversity and will maintain a balance between the prototype and production series. It is important to keep the DNA of the class alive for both series skippers, with limited funding, who want to develop their offshore sailing skills and those in search of innovation through the prototype category.

“Following the launch of seven prototypes this year, there are plans for three new ones to join the 2023 season. This category is ultra dynamic and promises to deliver some great battles on the water next year!”