Lisa Berger sets her sights on Globe40! After an adventure in the Mini 6.50, Austrian skipper Lisa Berger is aiming to launch herself into the Class40 class, with the 2nd edition of the Globe40 as her goal. Presentation of a quality project under  construction.

Austria is not a nation that is very well represented in ocean racing. How did the passion for sailing and the desire to sail the oceans come about?

I have always been in love with the sea, maybe especially because we don’t have a sea in Austria, and it was always special to go on holidays by the sea. So when I had my first contact with sailing on family sailing trips in the Adriatic sea when I was around 10 years old, I started to wonder what’s out there and at some point started dreaming of sailing around the world.

What is your nautical background and past experience?

Well, I didn’t take the classic way, so I never sailed any dinghies as a kid. My family started doing holiday sailing trips in the Adriatic sea when I was 10 years old, that’s how I learned about sailing. I started racing quite late, I first started on lake Attersee in Austria when I was 23 in 2013 and then started crewed racing at sea in 2016, did my first Atlantic crossing in the ARC in 2017.. started doublehanded racing in 2019, when I won the first European Championship in mixed doublehanded offshore racing. Also I had the dream of doing the Mini Transat for a while already and 2019 was the year where I set foot on a Mini for the first time and then did my first official Mini race in 2020. It was then 3 years of preparation and qualification for the Mini Transat 2023 with so many great qualifying races like the Acores race, the Mini Fastnet and many more, but I also did the Figaro 3 race around Italy in 2021 and 2022, aswell as some other international races.

You took part in the Mini Transat 2023. What did you take away from the experience, both in terms of preparing the project and the race itself?

The Mini Transat gave me so much! Just having a dream for years and then slowly getting closer and closer to making it real, with all what it takes, was such a big experience. It is a big challenge to qualify for the Mini Transat, especially now that there are a lot of people who try to do it at the same time and places in races are limited. So you really need to be able to make a plan, stick to it, be able to change plans quickly though, since weather etc. plays a big role too when you need certain races to qualify. Being from another country than France was a little extra challenge when it comes to distance, language and so on. But it was an amazing time and it was the best feeling ever and a great reward when we were finally being towed out to the starting line of the Mini Transat in September last year.

You were the first Austrian woman to take the start of the Mini Transat, so I imagine you’re proud of what you’ve achieved?

Yes, I am very proud that I managed to participate in and also to finish the Mini Transat. I learned so much during the 3 years and also a lot during the race, so that right after finishing I felt like now I would be so ready to do it better. Haha but I guess it will always feel like this, when you finish such a big project for the first time! We never stop learning at sea!

The place of women in ocean racing is a subject that is taken very seriously these days. Do you think it’s more difficult for a woman to find her place in this field and how do you explain the fact that there are still so few women at the start of the major races?

I am very lucky that I never had bad experiences and was always taken seriously as a woman in sailing. But yes, there is still a lot to do as long as there is no balance between men and women rights in general. But I am happy to see that for example in the Mini 650 races we are more and more women participating. It’s still far away from being enough but the spirit in this class is really good and there is no difference being made in genders. And that’s the cool thing in offshore racing in general – there is no difference between men and women, we are all in the same ranking and women can do it as well as men. I think when it comes to finding sponsors it is still a bit harder for women than for men to be taken seriously, but luckily we have some really good examples of strong women in offshore racing and there is a change happening!

 It’s often said that the Mini Transat is the best school for becoming a great sailor. Do you agree with that?

I totally agree. I can say that for me it was the best school ! Now, after finishing my Mini Transat, I feel like I graduated from High School and am ready for the next big steps. And it is not a secret, that many of the big solo sailors started their career in Mini. 😊

Over all, solo sailing teaches you a lot about yourself. You find out that you are so much stronger than you thought you are. It’s amazing what we are able to do when we get into extreme situations. But we have to leave our comfort zone first to experience this feeling.

 Let’s talk about your future plans… do you have a strong desire to do a race around the world…?

I have been dreaming of sailing around the world for a long time. By then, I had no idea of all the races that are happening around the world, so when I found out about those, it really got me. Once you have the idea you won’t get rid of it until you do it.

So yes, my desire to race around the world is strong. My plan is to do it doublehanded first, then singlehanded.

How did you come up with the idea of taking part in the 2nd edition of Globe40?

The logic next step after the Mini 650 is the Class 40. It’s like a Mini, just double the size. Then having a race like the Globe40 which combines Class 40 and racing around the world, is perfect!

Of course I followed the 1st edition of the Globe 40 and could not stop imagining doing the race myself and I really can’t wait! And now, after 3 years of focusing on solo racing, I am so much looking forward to racing doublehanded, also to learn from other people, before going back to solo racing later.

You’re determined to be at the start. How far have you got in your preparations?

Starting such a project is always the hardest part. We clearly have a plan, but the next big and important step is to buy a boat. It’s an up and down with emotions every day, you just want to start training and preparing but we are still looking for partners to being able to purchase a boat. It’s not easy to find sponsors before having a boat and being able to show them around and promote your project, so I can’t wait to have a boat really! Also I have just started a Gofundme Crowdfunding, which might help us for this important step of purchasing an older Class 40. So if you feel like you would love to support us on our way to the starting line of the Globe 40, you can find more info here Spendenkampagne von Lisa Berger: Racing around the world in the Globe 40. ( or you can contact me by email :

I am very grateful for every support in this crucial phase of the project !

What can we wish you for the future?

That we make it to the starting line next year!! 😊

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