The path of a kid obsessed with the Ocean, with sailing and with the feeling of freedom. From dinghies to the challenge to qualify for the Mini Transat 2021
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.– Oscar Wilde.
I started sailing at the early age of 4 and, like many other kids at that age, I went through the process of dinghy sailing. It wasn’t long after when I realised I was completely hooked to sailing, completely hooked to racing and completely hooked to the Ocean and the feeling it gave me.
After racing in some of the National championships with lasers, I started racing on an Archambault “Grand Surprise”, a 32 ft racing yacht, winning trophies all around the Spanish coast and gaining valuable experience on slightly bigger yachts.
It was during that time back in 2007, when the first ever “Barcelona World Race” was held. I remember watching the big 60ft Imocas disappear on the horizon knowing that the next time they would step back on land again would be when they were back in Barcelona 90 days after having sailed around the world, it impacted me, it made me feel something that I had never felt before…
Since that day it wasn’t just the “Barcelona World Race” I would follow, it was the “Vendee Globe”, the “Transat Jacques Vabre”, the “Route du Rhum”, it was the Solitaire du Figaro and, of course, The Mini Transat. I would look at those people and think of them as superhumans, mad sailors chasing adventure and loneliness on the immensity of the Oceans.
While following all of this races, life took a turn and I ended up living in Indonesia. Despite not much sailing, the Ocean was still there, and it kept calling me. With 14 years old, I would finish High School on a tropical Island and surf up to 8 hours a day. That experience gave me the maturity to treat the Ocean with respect, to enjoy the loneliness and the spirituality.
It was a couple of years later that the opportunity to be part of the Clipper Round the World yacht race came up. I didn’t hesitate. (Click here to read about it!)
Racing around the world at the age of 19 gave me the experience and confidence I needed to go further, to push myself harder and to see how far I could really go. It was like my university.
In my return, I had already made up my mind that I would pursue a life sailing, a life on the Oceans, racing and exploring to places no-one had sailed to before. Click here to find out did that go!
That experience gave me the maturity to treat the Ocean with respect, to enjoy the loneliness and the spirituality.– Alex Laline.
While I was gaining tons of experience teaching, racing and sailing to exotic locations, solo-sailing had always been at the back of my head. Racing being my passion and solo-sailing being what attracted me most, I started asking myself the same question over and over again: How could I get into the elite of solo sailors and experience what they did?
The answer had always been in my head… The Mini Transat. The “mad” race for solo sailors. The race with 6.5m boats. The school for solo sailors.
I became really focused on the Mini Transat, almost like an obsession. I had to be on the start line of the Mini Transat. So the process to find a boat started there, but as we were approaching 2018, it was too late to try and find a boat for the Mini Transat 2019 so the objective now focused in The Mini Transat 2021. Learn about the Project
It took me over a year to find the right boat and even more time to get everything ready but as soon as I saw her I knew that 911 would be my boat. (Know more about the boat in this link)
I had managed to fund the boat myself after years of work and will. And now, the time had finally come, the time to slip lines and connect with the Ocean on a way I had never experienced before.
Many times, while I’m training with 911 I look back in time and remember that kid, the way he used to see the “mad” mini sailors and how they impacted him…. And here I am alone, on the Ocean, pursuing that little kid’s dream.