While Sam Manuard continues to head the Mini Transat fleet, averaging 7-9kts, other competitors have suffered gear problems in the strong winds last night

While Sam Manuard continues to head the Mini Transat fleet, averaging 7-9kts, other competitors have suffered gear problems in the strong winds last night. After a particularly annoying Thursday, with more than 12 hours without wind, things improved at the beginning of the evening with a north-easterly wind finally filling in.

During the night however, the wind increased to 18-20 kts and, under spinnaker, several boats suffered gear problems. Caroline Vieille (405 – Tôleries Armoricaines – Fondation Jérôme Lejeune) who had made a good recovery on Thursday and Lionel Rubio de Teran (269 – Groupe CIBF) are the most affected. They both have broken rudders and are currently heading for La Corogne to carry out repairs. Frédéric Duval (304 – Sojasun) has bowsprit damage and may also head for La Corogne if he can’t repair the damage himself.

Cécile Poujol (345 – Informatique et statistiques) has broken her VHF antenna, while Christophe Dary (373 – Saga la qualité du service) lost his winch handle and all the kitchen utensils! Bruno Garcia (354 – Saladino) has rig problems, and Pascal Doin (312 – A.S.N.Q.) has reported his solar panel is not charging.

The leaders should pass Cape Finisterre by the end of the afternoon with Manuard widening the gap from Alex Pella (240 – Aquatec – Santivieri -Texknit) who is now 7.2 NM astern.

Jonathan McKee (247 – Team McLube) is now more that 12 NM behind the leader. Frédéric Duthil (265 – All Mer) who was on the same course as Manuard is now in 17th position – 31 NM behind the leader.