My high school buddy Nicolas Boidevézi just won the Mini Fastnet (usually Douarnenez – Fastnet and return, this year Douarnenez – Cordouan – Douarnenez, about 500 NM) on proto 719 “Défi GDE”.

I was looking at his course on the way back and noticed he seemed to be doing about 10-11 kts in about 15-18 kts TWS, on a close reach. In 10-13 kts TWS the speed was down to 7 or 8. Average speed was 8.55 knots. I’m kind of blown away by how fast this is for a 21-ft boat. The minis are rockets downwind, but pretty limited by their waterline upwind. I didn’t realize they could maintain double-digit speeds on a close reach (at least for the protos).

Downwind they were doing mid-teens the whole way, but that’s old news. GDE is a new-ish proto (all carbon, hard chines, canting keel), but is considered pretty “simple” because it has a fixed mast and no water ballast.

I really need to sail a mini sometime. And I’ll be betting on Nico in the Transat 6.50