Sam Manuard, the 32-year-old Frenchman, has beaten his race-long rival Jonathan McKee in to first place in the Mini Transat first leg


Sam Manuard, the 32-year-old Frenchman, crossed the finish line of the first leg of the Mini Transat last night in Lanzarote at 22h 38mins 41secs local time completing the course in 9 days 5hrs 8 mins 41seconds) covering 1,350 miles. Jonathan McKee took second place, nearly three hours later, sailing his Simon Rogers designed production boat, while Chris Sayer, the unofficial New Zealand entry, slipped in just ahead of McKee.

Manuard commented last night minutes after crossing the line: “My boat is excellent and seems to be faster and more powerful than McKee’s.” Although McKee is disappointed he was unable to break through Manuard at the end, he’s positive and believes it was a good race, commenting: “Despite everything, I am satisfied with my place. I fell into a hole without wind and there was really nothing I could do about it.”

Armel Tripon, winner of the Transgascogne and second-placed finisher in the Transat Prologue, managed to retain his third place despite falling in to a wind hole for six hours. Sailing a 99-designed, carbonfibre Finot Tripon is pleased with his result, commenting: “It was hard at the end but the race was pleasant and I’m really pleased with the performance of my boat.”

Finishing positions (19 September – 01h15 local time)

Le 18 September : 431 – Samuel Manuard (Tip Top Too – Le Grau du Roi – Port Camargue) à 22h38’41” (en 9 jours 5h 8′ 41”)

Le 19 September

247- Jonathan McKee(Team Mc Lube) à 00h 38′ 22”

151 – Armel Tripon (Moulin Roty) à 4h17’03”

265 – Frédéric Duthil (All mer) à 5h53’37”

393 – Cian McCarthy (The Tom Crean) à 6h54’59”

316 – Pia L’Obry ( à 6h56’51”

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