Yves le Blévec hounded by Adrien Hardy and Nicko Brennan on downwind sleighride 12/10/07

Mini Transat leader Yves le Blévec onAcualstill has control of the second leg, which started from Funchal, Madeira last Saturday, but the young French sailor Adrien Hardy onBrossardhas really made an impact on Le Blevec’s lead over the last 24 hours.

Hardy is now just five miles away from Le Blevec’s transom and currently making 2kts more boat speed on a slightly more easterly route as they pass the Cape Verde Islands.

Le Blevec has, for the first time, strayed off the rhumb line in order to pick up the stronger north-easterly breeze which is now in the 15-18kt range while Hardy has yet to reach the stronger wind band.

Australian skipper Nicko Brennan is also going to be another one Le Blevec will have to keep his eye on in the next few hours. Brennan, sailing the relatively old Prototype originally built and owned by British sailor Nick Bubb, and then Phil Sharp, has already had some impressive results in this boat including a seventh in this year’s extremely windy Transgascogne Race from 70-boat fleet, and is proving unstoppable on this second leg.

The is still no definite news about Sam Manuard other than he has a fairly serious problem which has caused him to drop from second on Sunday down to 27th. The lack of speed means that he probably has a similar problem to Isabelle Joschke (damaged spinnaker sprit/jockey pole) which means he is unable to fly a spinnaker. This being the case he will undoubtedly head into the Cape Verde Islands within the next day or so.

The most recent rankings show that Francisco Lobato on Series boatBPIseems to have regained speed and is now flying down the coast at 8kts which means he wasn’t dismasted yesterday. There is still no news of why he suddenly stopped but he has obviously succeeded in fixing whatever the problem was and is now up to 20th again and lying third in the Series class.

Stéphane Le Diraison onCultisol – Institut Curieremains at the head of the Series fleet with Hervé Piveteau onJules – Imprimerie Cartoffsetin second.

The British contingent remain consistently in the middle of the fleet with Andrew Wood onDomosofa.comin 35th and David Rawlinson in 40th, both just over 200 miles behind the leader.