Her goal is now fast approaching: on 26 September, Lina Rixgens will start the Mini-Transat for a second time after her debut in 2016/2017. The French Atlantic classic race for solo sailors will lead the field of approximately 85 boats from the legendary starting port of Les Sables-d’Olonne, from where the famous Vendée Globe fleet also sets out every four years. The course takes the fleet 1350 nautical miles to Santa Cruz de Palma then a further 2700 nautical miles to the finishing port of Saint-François on Guadeloupe. The Mini-Transat is regarded as the cradle for French and international sailing heroes like the last winner Yannick Bestaven or the German high-flyer Boris Herrmann. Grueling doldrums, storm-swept seas, strategic and tactical challenges, lack of sleep and the demanding boats make the 4000nm Mini-Transat an incredible challenge for all participants. Lina Rixgens is once again the only female German participant.

Since her premiere five years ago – at that time still with a mini-budget, but maximum motivation – the passionate offshore sailor, who was born in Bergisch-Gladbach and now lives in Hamburg, has learned a lot. Building skills by participating in many single-handed and double-handed races has been time very well spent. The graduated medical doctor’s boat is a well-equipped Wevo 6.5 design named “Avenade” which Lina has been thoroughly optimizing for the race. Self-confident Rixgens‘ is being inspired by strong sponsors. One important partner is the sailcloth manufacturer Dimension-Polyant, a German company with a global reach. There are several good reasons for the alliance. „Dimension-Polyant is a big name in the scene with a lot of experience that supplies excellent products, Rixgens is excited about the partnership with this market leader.

In addition to the product quality of the DP sailcloth, the convincing sustainability aspects of the climate-neutral producing company with roots in Rixgen’s home state of North Rhine-Westphalia was also a decisive factor. The alliance between Dimension Polyant and Lina Rixgens began in 2020 and was again sealed and significantly expanded in May 2021. Dimension-Polyant offers its customers a transparent orientation aid with the „cleenTEC®“ seal: It identifies products with which sailors select not only for top quality, but also for more environmental protection. The term „cleen“ stands for the synergetic effect of „clean“ and „green“ and stands for the sustainability that Lina Rixgens strives for.

To this end, since 2020 there has been the „Cleen Sailing Initiative“ launched by Dimension-Polyant in collaboration with environmental activists, recycling, textile and fiber experts as well as sailmakers and boat and ship builders. The initiative stands for action instead of talking in the fight for environmentally friendly sailing. „With sailcloth from Dimension-Polyant, our already clean sport becomes even more environmentally friendly. Dimension-Polyant and I are united by our respect for our environment and for the seas we call home. That’s why we make a good team,“ says the 26-year-old, who at the same time keeps an eye on the performance of her sails.

On the „Tour de Force“ across the Atlantic, sails that last a long time are essential. „They have to put up with a lot,“ says Rixgens, who operates her boat only with energy from solar panels for the environment. The Mini class also supports this sustainable energy generation with its rules. One of the legendary Dimension-Polyant sailcloth regularly used in Rixgens‘ Mini Transat is the strong Code Zero CZ30PES. „It performs perfectly in calm winds and still copes brilliantly in 35 knots,“ says Rixgens, explaining the versatility of the material. Her alliance with the cloth specialists at Dimension-Polyant completes a circle of life for the young woman, whose passion for sailing was sparked in 2009 at the age of 15 when she participated in the sailing course „High Seas High School“ for six months. Even back in 2006 at her first regatta in the Optimist children’s dinghy, Dimension-Polyant was the main partner of the event on the Königshüttensee near Krefeld. „That’s more than a good anecdote,“ says Rixgens, smiling, „it shows how tenaciously the company is committed to sailing – at all levels from the youngest to the very top of our sport.“

Lina Rixgens, who is currently studying seasickness and the effect of vitamin C in her doctoral thesis, has her sights set high for the second Transatlantic ride. „I’d like to finish in the top 20 and end the race with the same good feeling I came to the finish port in 2017 after lows and highs at the end.“ Immersing herself in the French-influenced Mini scene came easily to Rixgens five years ago, when she made her Mini Transat debut so spiritedly on a used Pogo-type yacht. Lina Rixgens attended a school with bilingual instruction in German and French in her youth and completed her medical studies in Belgium. She always longs for the high seas: „Out there, you perceive life and simply everything much more intensively. The depths are deeper, the heights higher. Moreover, you’re on your own, you have to be an all-rounder and master of everything. You make all the decisions on your own. That and the tactical-strategic challenges really appeal to me.“

The once successful dinghy sailor had outgrown the short offshore courses even before she graduated from high school and university. During assignments in crews of the Hamburgischer Verein Seefafahrt (HVS), she constantly expanded her horizons in changing crews until she realized that self-determined regatta engagements are what make solo and double-handed sailing so appealing to her. Starting on September 26, she will once again set out on her „Solo for Lina“ and knows that she has an efficient and forward-looking team behind her. The Mini Transat ends in mid-November in the southern Caribbean. Guadeloupe is a dream destination, but one that the Mini sailors will have to work hard to reach. Lina Rixgens is ready for it.