Published October 28, 2019

Pep Costa is a singlehanded offshore racer who dreams of someday competing in the Vendée Globe. Right now, the 20-year-old is racing in the Mini Transat and testing his limits as he races across the Atlantic Ocean — alone.

What’s the Mini Transat? It’s a biennial solo race across the Atlantic. 87 men and women are in the middle of the race right now. They’ve just wrapped up the first leg of the race, which brings them 1350 nautical miles from La Rochelle, France to the Canary Islands (the Spanish islands off the coast of Northwest Africa). In this first leg, Pep finished in 13th out of 21 boats in his division after nearly 10 days at sea. The final leg of the race begins November 2; the fleet leaves the Canary Islands and sails to Martinique in the French West Indies. Due to the numerous islands, the second leg’s start can be tricky before reaching the famous tradewinds that offer a long downwind run to Martinique. The second leg will be 15-20 sailing days to complete the 2700 nautical mile course.

Map of Race

Photo by Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Pep Sailing

Photo by Breschi / Mini Transat La Boulangere

The race is sailed in the Mini 6.50 sailboat class. There are two divisions in the class: Production and Prototype boats. Production Mini 6.50s are built out of fiberglass, have alloy masts, and prohibit materials like titanium, carbon fiber, and epoxy resin. Prototype Mini 6.50s are free of restrictions. For many years, they have been a first laboratory for sailing innovations. Canting keels, daggerboards, swinging wing masts, and long poles for massive spinnakers have all been tried first on Prototype Minis. New hull shapes with very wide waterlines and foils are now the latest innovations. Pep sails a Prototype Mini 6.50 called Tip Top Too, originally made in 2003. It features a canting keel and water ballast; learn more about his boat in the Boat Tour video below.

The Harken Team met with Pep in La Rochelle last month as he was preparing for the start of the race. Watch the videos below to meet Pep and tour his boat.

Meet Pep Costa:

Tour Pep’s Mini 6.50 Sailboat:

Pep can be an inspiration to Harken Blockheads – Good luck to him as he crosses the Atlantic for the second leg of his Mini Transat journey!

Pep’s blog from the first leg

About Pep

Live Race Tracking


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