Building a Classe Mini for the future

Press Release #2


Classe Mini have announced plans to reduce their environmental impact and make the popular series more accessible by organising a new solo race for older boats.

The class commissioned experts at BPI France to undertake a carbon audit to examine the impact of the organisers, suppliers and races taking place over the season, which runs from March to September.

Transport, by car and plane, came out on top in terms of emissions accounting for over half (57%) of the total. Nearly 90% of this was attributed to race fans, the sailors and their families travelling to the 15-18 races held over the season in the Mediterranean and Atlantic.

All this information is being used to create a benchmark for an emissions reduction strategy involving a collaboratively designed process with input from sailors. A series of facilitated workshops will deliver a roadmap for future actions.

And a new race, proposed for the 2024 calendar, aims to give sailors with older boats the opportunity to race in an event that will help them qualify for the bi-annual Mini Transat race to the Caribbean, which recently set off from Les Sables d'Olonne.

Board member Mathieu Gobet is part of the sustainable development commission formed to oversee the process.

He said: “We adopted a strategic approach to reducing the class carbon emissions by at first undertaking an impact assessment so we had the figures to make informed decisions on which areas we should focus on and how to measure our work.

“We want to take all stakeholders with us on the journey - board members, sailors, sponsors and suppliers and are encouraging feedback to keep them engaged. We are hosting a series of facilitated workshops to explore challenges and solutions so we can plan a direction of travel over the next decade rather than implementing measures without a strategic aim.”

The sustainability study also found that while the prototype class has higher emissions levels during boat construction, they have a longer life cycle than the production boats, which allows them to smooth out their carbon footprint over time. Organisers are also in the process of developing a carbon calculator so sailors can determine their own footprint

The class, which attracts around 500 sailors in over 200 boats in the prototype and production classes, had been a victim of its success over the past years with lengthy waiting lists for some races. Strict rules that only allow Mini Transat qualification for boats that have completed 1500 nm of competitive sailing over the season means some sailors, typically in boats built around 2000, who are unable to commit to some of the races, cannot take part.

In order to reduce the sporting inequalities between boats, board members are hoping to launch a 500 nm solo race in August reserved exclusively for these older generation boats. This will help them gain the necessary points to qualify for the Mini Transat and discourage them from having to resort to building new boats.

Emilie Gobbesso, Classe Mini board member, explained: “It takes a huge commitment of time and money for amateur sailors to compete in the 6.50’s and some don’t have either. We are an inclusive and accessible class and in keeping with the ‘mini spirit’ it is important to introduce opportunities for older boats to race and meet the criteria to compete in the Mini Transat.

“There is also a sustainability driver to this by offering a race platform for these boats to continue to sail rather than sailors having to resort to building new ones to stay competitive.”

For more information:

Media contact for Classe Mini:

Robin Clegg - +44 7765 157 136