Yves Le Blévec due to cross line later today and organisers confirm tracker system problem 23/10/07

Organisers of the Transat 6,50 Charente-Maritime/Bahia have confirmed there’s a problem with the tracking beacons aboard some of the boats in the Mini Transat fleet.

Yesterday’s positions on the tracker led viewers to believe that some of the competitors were in trouble including third-placed Australian sailor Nick Brennan. According the to tracker it indicated that Brennan who’d been lying at the top of the fleet for the majority of the second leg from Funchal, Madeira over two weeks ago, had stopped dead on the approach to the Brazilian coast. Fortunately this is not the case and Brennan is still in third place.

News from race control today in Brazil confirms that Yves Le Blévec (Actual) – the race favourite – is now on the final approaches to the finish line and expected to arrive in Bahia at approximately 1830 (GMT) this evening. David Sineau (Bretagne Lapins) is still in second place 80 miles behind, and Brennan is in third. Sineau and Brennan are expected to arrive during mid afternoon tomorrow (GMT).

Denis van den Brink from the race office says the tracking system problems is a mystery, commenting: “We have no idea. It was working perfectly for the first leg now everything is breaking down. Fortunately there is no danger as far as safety is concerned because the satellite is still working, it’s just the sending of positions. We have no positions whatsoever on the Series fleet anymore.”

The conditions for the leaders approaching the finish are ideal with 20kts of easterly Trade winds making for an exciting ride. The only problem they have is the sea state which is starting to get choppy as the fleet gets closer to the shore.