There are only a small group of professional solo sailors in the world prepared to take on the challenge of The Transat.
Among them are two female sailors in the Class40 category, Germany’s Anna-Maria Renken and her boat NIVEA and Britain’s Miranda Merron and her boat Campagne de France.
This is not the longest race in the world, nor is it the most dangerous but it does have a fearsome reputation and anyone who sets out to complete The Transat should be rewarded for their endeavor and courage. Anna-Maria Renken and Miranda Merron are two of those people.
Despite the fact that Campagne de France is currently in build, Miranda Merron was the first skipper to register for The Transat 2016 back in September. Miranda previously raced in the 2008 Artemis Transat on a Class40 but this time round she will have the pressure – and pleasure – of proving a new boat in its first ever race.
“The Transat is steeped in history and the North Atlantic can be truly awe-inspiring. It makes you realise just how small you are, and can be truly challenging at times. It’s the only race where I have had to shut myself inside the boat for safety reasons in huge seas, and I know that was the case for some other competitors too,” she explains.
“I have only done three solo transatlantic races, at 6 year intervals, and I notice that my mindset has evolved considerably – I rather enjoyed my last solo race last year,” Miranda continues. “I will be competing on the new Campagne de France, the launch of which will unfortunately be very late. Therefore I suspect I will be learning the boat as I go.”
Unlike Miranda, Anna-Maria Renken is somewhat of a solo-sailing novice. “This will be my first solo transatlantic race so I’m excited but I’m also aware I need to prepare myself. I’m basically a solo novice so I think my biggest challenge will be psychological, learning to be with me, myself and I,” Anna-Maria explains. “I am fine with both the technical and physical aspects but managing my mind will certainly be a full-on task.”
The cooperation with NIVEA has run since December 2013 and Anna-Maria hopes to follow The Transat by competing in the Route Du Rhum 2018. Her boat NIVEA has recently undergone a refit in Lorient. “There is no question that NIVEA is a good, strong and reliable boat,” she continues. “I have done many miles and I’m enjoying the Class40 competition. My ambition for The Transat is to do something I’m really proud of. Step onto the dock in New York and say ‘I couldn’t have done more’, that’s what I want from this race.”
– Transat Media