Adrien Hardy forced to slow down while lying second in Mini Transat 18/10/07

Adrien Hardy, the young French sailor, who’s been hounding Mini Transat leader Yves Le Blevec for over a week now has been forced to slow down with gear failure.

Although it is still unclear the extent of his problem, Hardy, sailingBrossard, who was just nine miles behind the leader this time yesterday, has activated his e-track beacon (green alarm) which means he has a problem but can possibly fix it himself. He is now in seventh place, over 130 miles behind Le Blevec.

Le Blevec has now pulled away from David Sineau in second place, but the one to watch, now in third, is Australian sailor Nick Brennan. Brennan has sailed a tactically good race pulling through the fleet from 33rd and maintaining his top 10 position for the majority of the race so far. He is now just over 60 miles from Le Blevec.

Slovenian entry Kristian Hajnsek onAdria mobilis also one to keep an eye on. Hajnsek onAdria mobilhas also stormed through the fleet and is now in sixth place as the leaders of fleet heads towards possibly the toughest part of the course – heavy air, upwind sailing towards Bahia, Brazil.