American Skipper MacFarlane Battles to Sail in Mini Transat

After facing a dismasting just off the coast of Spain during a 1,000-mile Mini Transat qualifier last April, which resulted in being airlifted, hospitalized and left him with several broken bones in his left hand, skipper Jeffrey MacFarlane has overcome the odds and is the only American to be sailing in the 2013 Mini Transat.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

After facing a dismasting just off the coast of Spain during a 1,000-mile Mini Transat qualifier last April, which resulted in being airlifted, hospitalized and left with several broken bones in his left hand, skipper Jeffrey MacFarlane has overcome the odds and is the only American to be sailing in the 2013 Mini Transat.

Racing 4,000 miles in 21-foot sailboats from Douarnenez, France, to Pointe á Pitre in Guadeloupe with a quick stopover in the Canary Islands—all without computer navigation—makes the Mini Transat no joke, but MacFarlane is up to the challenge.

He’s even gone above and beyond the call of duty. Because regulations mandate that sailors both qualify for and race in the Mini Transat in the same boat, and because MacFarlane’s qualified vessel was damaged after the dismasting, he sailed an additional 1,000 miles in a chartered Mini 6.5 759 in order to re-qualify for the Mini Transat within five months before the start.

“I competed in the 220 mile-long Trophee MAP race starting on June 13 and the 600 mile-long Mini Fastnet race starting on June 23. Both races started in Douranenez, [and they] were difficult for a number of reasons,” MacFarlane stated in an interview with Scuttlebutt.

"I was cautious, as I knew I had to finish these races in order to qualify for the Transat, and I was still a bit nervous about injuring my hand further, and I simply needed more time with the boat to master all of the ins and outs of the vessel because it’s very different from 716,” he explained.

His caution paid off, because soon after, MacFarlane qualified for the Mini Transat and bumped his Mini sailor rank up to number three from number five. Before his dismasting, MacFarlane was ranked number one.

His hopes to sail in the Mini Transat were temporarily dashed, however, because he was placed on the waitlist by the time he re-qualified. Fortunately for MacFarlane, a sailor dropped out and MacFarlane is now racing, and he’s grateful for the support he’s received so far.

After a string of uphill battles, MacFarlane crossed the start line when the gun went off on Oct. 29 at 9:19 local time after the race was delayed two weeks due to severe weather. 

Related

Shelly-forward-last-day

Charter Advice for First-Timers

Never chartered? No worries. A vacation under sail can be the most memorable time of your life. That said, it also pays to be prepared by doing some reading, building your skills and listening to what the experts say. First and foremost, not all charter grounds are created ...read more

HugoBoss

Video: Vendeé Update

Last week Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) led the fleet across the equator. As one of the class' top sailors who's been on the Vendeé Podium twice, it seemed possible that Thomson was going to grab an early lead and hold on to it all the way around the world. But early on Saturday, he ...read more

AdobeStock_229409051

Chartering Again for the First Time

It’s been a rocky road of late for the charter industry, especially here in the Western Hemisphere. First came hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean followed by Dorian in the Bahamas. There has also, of course, been the coronavirus, which burst into global prominence ...read more

01 LEAD cedaryachtclub_onedesign18_hike

An Interview with Ayme Sinclair

In recent months, US Sailing, like many organizations, has been taking a closer look at diversity to ensure it’s doing the best job it can of introducing people from all backgrounds and ethnicities to the sport. As part of this effort, this past summer it organized an online ...read more

125768940_10222759720523627_5373654001582879638_n

US Sailing Presents Adaptive Sailing Panel

On Tuesday, November 24, US Sailing’s Leadership Forum will present the latest panel discussion in their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion series. This event will focus on adaptive sailing and provide practical recommendations for organizations looking to expand their adaptive ...read more

02-IMG_5971

A Carbon Neutral Circumnav with Jimmy Cornell

Historic anniversaries have always held a special fascination for me, especially if they mark a significant nautical achievement. In 1992, on the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ would-be voyage to India, I organized a transatlantic rally that followed the historic route of the ...read more

DJI_0068

SAIL Podcast: Jimmy Cornell’s Carbon-free Circumnav

In this episode of Point of SAIL, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with bestselling author and pioneering bluewater sailor Jimmy Cornell, who set out November 19 on yet another circumnavigation aboard a newly designed, carbon-neutral Outremer 4Zero catamaran. The voyage, which ...read more

emirates-600x

Emirates Team New Zealand Splashes the last of the AC75s

Emirates Team New Zealand unveiled its second-generation AC75 yesterday, joining the other three America's Cup teams with boats in the water. In just over 100 days, this boat will attempt to defend the Cup for the Kiwis, but there's plenty of racing between now and then, with ...read more