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3 October 2001, 01:15 pm
Roberto Varinelli Officially Lost At Sea
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© Jacques Vapillon

Mini Transat

Although searching continues by the Portuguese navy for Roberto Varinelli tragically he has now been officially listed as 'lost at sea'.
In fickle 5 to 7 knots of breeze the leaders creep towards the finish and it looks as though tonight will be their last at sea in leg one. The boats which had gained by being east before now travel more slowly with their higher angle to make the last of the 1,300 miles to Porto Calero, Lanzarote.

For Bestevan and Boissiers it is a real head to head as both are in exactly the same design (Magnen) and both had a hand in building each others boats - truly a testiment to the designs and the meticulous preparation that the two have put into their Mini campaigns. Were the breeze not so light and fickle at present then one could surely already call the positions for the finish of leg one but even given the large gaps that are now appearing between the boats, there can be some big winners and losers in the light stuff!

Another skipper has announced his retirement from the event having returned to port for repairs Pascal Hannequin has finally decided to call it a day and has gone back to La Rochelle. He had restarted last Sunday with Benot Parnaudeau who has continued with his attempt to make the Canaries before the start of leg two.

While it is soft and floppy at the front, the restarters at the back who undertook repairs will be continuing to battle with more breeze than they probably ideally want at this time. For Paul Peggs we expect he will be happy with this situation as he performs well in the heavier airs and, with knowledge that those in front will be struggling in light airs, he will feel his miles clocking off more sweetly... but then a happy head never remembers that it may soon face similar conditions!

There will no doubt be some wishful gazes from sailors that have struggled to fund their Protoypes over towards the Series class at the end of leg one.. The downwind blasting has not materialised and the distance between the leading Protos and leading Series is only around 90 miles. A top Series boat can be campaigned for much less than a Proto and there is a truer measure in this fleet of the skill of the sailor rather than the grey areas of sailor v design. In the tougher conditions earlier in the race the Series would have seemed palacial compared to the washing machine-like Protoypes!

Positions:

CL; N° COURSE; SKIPPER; BATEAU; CODE; DIST.; LAT; LONG

1; 304; BESTAVEN Yannick; AQUARELLE.COM; CL; 0193.9; N314473; W0123191
2; 303; BOISSIERES Arnaud; AQUARELLE.COM; CL; 0202.3; N315976; W0130131
3; 258; MANUARD Samuel; TIP TOP / CHARMILLES SALES; CL; 0211.0; N320866; W0131851
4; 240; CURWEN Simon; QDS; CL; 0228.8; N321813; W0121940
5; 139; GREGOIRE Jeanne; AQUARELLE .COM; CL; 0280.5; N330811; W0120280
6; 151; LE BLEVEC Yves; ACTUAL INTERIM; CL; 0287.3; N331511; W0120198
7; 247; THOMPSON Brian; LIGHTHOUSE LIFE FOUNDATION; CL; 0292.4; N331421; W0114305
8; 232; RAISON David; NAUTI-PARK / NAVTEC; CL; 0295.7; N332719; W0121435
9; 227; DEVILLARD Xavier; RUSSE NOIR; CL; 0318.3; N333603; W0112576
10; 238; RIONDEL Jean; TOULON VAR PROVENCE; CL; 0319.6; N334078; W0113463
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