Sam Manuard sailing his own designed prototype is leading the fleet on the approach to the finish line of the first leg of the Mini Transat in Lanzarote

Sam Manuard sailing his own designed prototype is this morning leading the Mini Transat fleet. Overnight Jonathan McKee sailing the British Rogers designed Team McLube, took a more westerly route and seems to have lost out and now trails Manuard by 12 miles as they approach the coast of Lanzarote with just over 50 miles to go.

After having sailed at an average speed of 8 knots along the coast of Portugal and then the coast of Morocco in an 18-20 north-easterly, the wind has now dropped, leaving the approach to Lanzarote a frustrating one.

So, while the battle continues at the front of the fleet between Manuard and McKee, Fredéric Duthil has closed up on third placed Armel Tripon who’s now just three miles ahead. In fifth place is Pia L’Obry the Swedish girl who’s taking a more easterly route closer to the Moroccan shore and managing to hold off Cian McCarthy, the Irish sailor competing in his Owen Clark designed prototype.

The production boats are starting to mix it with Erwan Tymen (426 – Pogo 2 Navy Lest) losing his lead to David Sineau (428 – France Fermetures). Again, it is a very close battle with just 0.9 nm separating the two.

British sailor Ian Munslow broke his rudder during the night but news from the boat this morning shows that he is managing to continue and still retains his 21st position with 149.9 miles to go. James Bird, the other British competitor is now lying in 52nd place.

David Lancry’s new mast should arrive in La Corogne today and he hopes to leave this evening to embark on his 900 remaining miles to Lanzarote.

The first boats should start to arrive in Lanzarote later this afternoon.

Positions (at 0700 18 September)

1 431 Samuel Manuard TIP TOP TOO – LE GRAU DU ROI PORT CAMARGUE proto

2 247 Jonathan Mc Kee TEAM MC LUBE proto

3 151 Armel Tripon MOULIN ROTY proto

4 265 Frédéric Duthil ALL MER proto

5 316 Pia L’Obry EXPATRIA.FR proto

6 393 Cian Mc Carthy THE TOM CREAN proto

7 139 François Cuinet REGLISSE proto

8 312 Pascal Doin ASNQ proto

9 354 Bruno Garcia SALADINO proto

10 240 Alex Pella AQUATEC – SANTIVERI – TEXKNIT proto

11 321 Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty ARTECH – CAEN LA MER proto

12 347 Pierre Rolland EXTRADO proto

13 428 David Sineau FRANCE FERMETURES serie

14 426 Erwan Tymen POGO 2 NAVY LEST serie

15 353 Willy Garcia CEYLAN DIAMANTES proto

16 227 Donald Wright RUSSE NOIR proto

17 440 David Raison RAYON LIQUIDE serie

18 303 Enrico Podesta DIABOLO-SLAM proto

19 135 Stéphane Ayrault WYETH proto

20 109 Gaspard Franeau AVOCATS SANS FRONTIERES proto