84 skippers starting on September 13 instead of 72

The 17th Edition of The Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 will take off on Sunday the 13th of September from Charente-Maritime. Great success again this year, the race has 100 sailors registered, 84 skippers will leave instead of the 72 originally planned.
Indeed, consequently to the cancellation of the 2010 Transat Douarnenez-Kourou, and taking into account the current waiting list in The Charente-Maritime / Bahia Transat 6.50 2009, the Classe Mini asked Grand Pavois Organization if it was possible open the entry list to 84 boats. The organizer and the Classe Mini agreed on those 12 additional participants that mean that there will be one more escort boat too.
There will be seven ships, remembering that one escort boat stands for 12 minis 6.50, to help the fleet and provide a daily presence around the boats within the race.

Let’s meet on them on the 9th of September on the Start Village.
Thirty-two years after the creation of the race, the 17th edition of The Charente-Maritime / Bahia Transat 6.50 2009 will start on Sunday the 13th of September 2009 off the coast of Charente-Maritime.
Ex ‘Mini Transat’, the Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 was created by the British Bob Salmon in 1977, a professional conveyor and racing amateur, in reaction to the debauchery of financial and technical resources during the Transat 1976. This new course had to be accessible to all budgets and to secure the race; the size of boats must not exceed the limit of 6.50 meters. The first two editions held in 1977 and 1979 reflected this spirit of simplicity and modesty: an official start in England, then the first competitors had to declare themselves or not when passing the finish line in the West Indies. Year after year, the Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 has become a major race, without ever having given up the bases that led to its creation.
Always accessible to modest budgets and amateurs, it has become a must for sailors who aspire to a career in offshore single-handed racing. This race can boast of having over 700 participants competing since its creations including the most famous (Peyron, Desjoyeaux, Stamm, MacArthur, Dubois, Autissier Lemonchois, Coville…).
An identical route to 2007
The skippers will start from The Charente-Maritime coasts on the 13th of September to Funchal (Madeira Island – Portugal). The first step of 1,100 miles looks like a good starting point since the skippers will cross the famous Bay of Biscay, genuine initiatory for browsers. Competitors will then head to Salvador de Bahia (Brazil), a step of 3,100 miles with the crossing of the legendary doldrums and the equator.
Brazil will be the final destination of The Charente-Maritime / Bahia Transat 6.50. Initiated in 2001, GPO was innovating by proposing a new route while taking the competitors in the southern hemisphere by making them cross the equator and the mythical and feared doldrums.
Through 4,200 miles the fleet was to leave the trade winds in the northern hemisphere to retrieve those of the southern hemisphere. But GPO has also worked to implement new security measures in collaboration with the Classe Mini, by increasing skippers training, deciding of more stringent selections, having radio relays at sea via the escort boats and an accompanying system via positioning beacons.

Watch the 2007 video on the regatta section of skippers.tv