The Mini Transat exists since 1977. In the beginning, participants sailed on normal yachts that had their bows cut off or were otherwise adjusted. But every year, the yachts got extremer and the sailors more ambitious.
During the 1999 Mini Transat there was an unusually high number of emergencies: More than half of all sailors abandoned the race. After that the following rules were introduced:
To qualify for the Mini Transat, one needs to sail more than 1000 nautical miles of official Classe Mini races, of which at least one has to include a leg with more than 500 nautical miles. The more miles, the better are your chances of being among the 92 sailing the Transat.
Additionally, one has to complete a non-stop 100 miles qualifier. There are two set courses, one in the Mediterranean around Menorca, Korsika and Sicily; and one on the Atlantic from La Rochelle to Ireland and back.
The number of starters for the Mini Transat is limited to 92. Whoever sails the most miles, is put on the starting list first. If two sailors sailed the qualifying races and therefore the same amount of miles, whoever signed up first is entered into the race first.