ALÉA FILMS - as DISTR Theatrical, TV, DVD-video, VOD, Airline, World, FRANCE / PROD

Action/Adventure - Completed 2019

Wakes takes us on the journey of the solo cross-Atlantic race, without assistance nor communication with earth, on the smallest sailing boat: the Mini 6,5m.
As our guide: Ian Lipinski, 2015-2017 winner of this race, this movie invites the audience to a competition of adventurers.

& Awards

festival international du film d'aventure 2018
sail in festival Bilbao 2019
Océan international Film Festival 2019
festival du Film Offshore 2019
    • Year of production
    • 2019
    • Genres
    • Action/Adventure, Epic, Documentary
    • Countries
    • FRANCE
    • Languages
    • FRENCH
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Léa RINALDI
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • Sails arise. Food and equipment are loaded on small sailboats. A speaker states the names of the competitors. A strange atmosphere inhabits this space opened on the horizon while Sqürl’s (Jim Jarmusch’s band) post-punk melancholic notes invade the space. Port of La Rochelle, 2017, the Mini Transat (a single-handed race without technical assistance nor communication with the shore) is launched under the crowd's clamours. Ian Lipinski is the frontrunner of the race. With his piercing blue gaze and his Little Prince’s look, Ian is a poet and passionate navigator, who lives for sailing since his teenage years. This time he enters the competition with a prototype boat. After capsizing in 2013 and triumphing on a series boat in 2015, Ian wants to set a record by being the first winner in both categories. Wakes paints a portrait of this legendary Mini Transat, between the 2013 and 2017 edition, through the journey of Ian Lipinski and his competitors. Ian Lipinski captures the audience attention by reading his logbook in voice-over, and opening up about his sensations, his fears, his dreams. The GoPro images taken by the sailors immerge us into their daily life at sea, on their cockleshells (the mini 6.50 are the smallest offshore racing boats). They are sometimes exhilarated when the wind pushes them towards the horizon, sometimes stressed by the storm raging or weighed down by the « pétole » (dead calm) that turns the ocean into a motionless lake. In the intimacy of their cockpit, sailors go between screams of joy and despair, crying and hallucinations at the limits of fatigue. Their adventure is uncertain, their trail is defined by the randomness of weather and navigation choices. The obstacles are numerous but the heroes of this film are pugnacious, relentless. Wakes is a tale of perseverance. The « minists » are part of a large family of passionate and supportive sailors, guided by the call of the sea. It is a hundred women and men who seek neither glory (the mini is a confidential race) nor money (even the winner earns nothing but a handshake) but the adrenaline of the moment, the beauty of the landscapes, the intensity of the effort. The director waits for them at the port, at Las Palmas for the stopover or in Guadeloupe for the arrival. Her camera captures the competitors’ reunion, when they all exchange tales of their journey and release the pressure. The party is in full swing, everyone is carried away by Jacques Brel’s music. Thanks to black and white archive footage, the audience discovers Ian Lipinski as a teenager aboard a school boat, which was the starting point of his vocation. While crossing the plain of a Caribbean island, the budding navigator explains how he learned to position himself in space, thanks to archaeology. Twenty years later, he is walking down the same plain at the edge of the world, as the great winner of the Mini Transat.