To mark International Women’s Day, Mirabaud has announced its new partnership with Anaëlle Pattusch, the young 19-year-old Swiss skipper. Anaëlle Pattusch is aiming to cross the Atlantic solo and without assistance in the Mini Transat race, the first leg of which will kick off in September 2023. Anaëlle Pattusch will take up the challenge of being the youngest female Swiss navigator to cross the Atlantic solo at just 20 years of age. Supported in this initiative by fellow Swiss sailors Justine Mettraux, Alan Roura, Valentin Gautier and Simon Koster, the young sportswoman forms part of an up-and-coming generation of offshore Swiss yachtsmen and women.
Originally from the town of Versoix in Switzerland and passionate about sailing since early childhood, Anaëlle Pattusch has undertaken, under her own initiative, to prepare for the Mini Transat – a 4,050 nautical miles (7,500 kilometres) offshore solo race between Les Sables-d’Olonne in France and Santa Cruz de La Palma in the Canary Islands for the first leg, and from Santa Cruz de La Palma to Saint François in Guadeloupe for the main crossing. This rite-of-passage race is one of the key milestones in the careers of high-level sportsmen and women striving to become professional offshore ocean racers. The Mini Transat is a solo race on the smallest of offshore Mini racing boats (21 feet), with no onboard assistance or means of communication with land (no weather routing by satellite, computers or phones).
As Main Sponsor, Mirabaud covers the costs and maintenance of the sailing boat as well as the athletic, mental and technical training of Anaëlle who will enter Brittany’s racing centre, Lorient Grand Large, full-time at the end of next June, once she has successfully graduated from secondary education.
“I’m extremely grateful to Mirabaud for their support and belief in me. I’m going to fulfil my childhood dream of crossing the Atlantic solo. This race is a personal challenge that combines both the desire to excel and to become part of the very closed world of offshore racing. Most of the top sailors’ careers were launched in the Mini Transat. It’s a rite of passage if you’re hoping to become a professional yachtswoman” explains Anaëlle Pattusch.
“We’re delighted to be supporting Anaëlle Pattusch, a young and talented navigator at the very start of her sporting career. There are still too few women in this discipline (less than ten per cent) and through this sponsoring initiative, we also hope to encourage female careers” declares managing partner, Nicolas Mirabaud.
Going on to add that, “Sponsoring Anaëlle was a no-brainer for us given how closely her values mirror our own, such as her passion, independence and, of course, entrepreneurial spirit. We’re really looking forward to accompanying her in this journey over the next two years leading up to the 2023 Mini Transat”.
Entrepreneurship at the service of sporting excellence
Preparing for a Mini Transat is a real undertaking. It requires at least two and a half years of hard work and investment as well as rigorous organisation and follow-through. Anaëlle lists what is involved: drafting sponsorship applications, making presentation videos, sending out dozens of funding requests, interviews, ordering a new sailing boat and road trailer and choosing the onboard equipment in line with the very precise regulations of the Mini class category, overseeing the whole project which involves travelling back and forth between Versoix and Brittany, and implementing a sailing programme through a calendar of races that needs to fit in with studies, training, qualifying events in the Mediterranean and Atlantic and the multiple prerequisite training courses and licences she needs to complete.