The budget Mini yacht that's nipping the heels of far costlier rivals


Whoa. I’m looking at what’s going on in the Mini Transat fleet, where Portuguese solo sailor Francisco Lobato is neck-and-neck with the two leading prototype boats.

That’s some achievement in a Pogo 2 production boat – glassfibre hull, fixed aluminium rig, fixed keel and around ?50,000 of yacht versus prototypes all in carbon and with canting rigs and scores of other technological advantages costing 2-3 times as much.

Lobato has been pushing his little 21-footer ROFF TMN (pictured above) hard downwind towards the first stop in Madeira and the other day notched up a top 24-hour run of 253 miles – an average of 10.6 knots.

They say the Pogo 2s should fare better against the lighter and faster prototypes when there’s wind sufficient for a reef and the differences count for less. Still, this is impressive. See more here 

Photo by Thierry Martinez