Yves Le Blevec and Nicholas Raynard Lombard-designed Prototype Actual win doublehanded Open 6,50 Demi-Clé 24/5/07

Event favourites Yves Le Blevec and Nicholas Raynard from France have won the Open 6,50 Demi-Clé double-handed race which took place last weekend sailing a year-old, Lombard-designed PrototypeActual.

This race, a 200-mile sprint up the coast of Brittany from Lorient to Douanenez, is one of the key events in the Open 6,50 calendar in the run up to the Mini Transat (Transat 6.50 Charente-Maritime/Bahia) which starts from La Rochelle on 16 September, and is also the only race in the calendar which gives the Mini sailors a chance to sail doublehanded.

As well as winning the Demi-Clé by nearly an hour ahead of second-placed Mathieu Cassanas – also on a Proto – 41-year-old Le Blevec, and teammate Raynard (both top Mini sailors in their own right) also won the event’s Prologue which took place off Lorient last Friday.

Interestingly though, despite their top form neither Le Blevec nor Raynard have managed to secure an entry into this year’s Mini Transat. But Le Blevec says he’s optimistic, commenting: “Yes, as always with the Mini Transat there is a big waiting list but I’m hoping I will secure an entry before long. My ambition is complete the Mini Transat, and of course win.”

Having been vying for a the top spot on second leg of the 2005 Mini Transat Le Blevec’s yacht – Point Mariage – dismasted forcing him to abandon any hopes of finishing the race. Under jury rig he ended up diverting to the coast of Brazil, just miles from the finish line, and had to ship the boat back to France.

Hoping for better luck this time Le Blevec is doing everything possible to not only ensure he gains a place in the Transat but to ensure his new Raynard design is immaculately prepared. If he secures a place, Le Blevec is definitely one to put your money on.