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18 October 2001, 08:24 pm
Gender Not an Issue
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©Jacques Vapillon

Mini Transat

In this year's Mini Transat the calibre of the women in the event is very high, and throughout the season all have shown that they accept that they are given no special treatment because of their gender.
For the 2001 Mini Transat, Gregoire and Leibovici of France have, along with Davies of Britain, have been mixing it with the front runners.

By her own admission, Sam Davies did not have a good leg one on Aberdeen Asset Management and rarely showed in the top ten. In leg two she has now moved to eighth and, with what many feel will be the boat's best conditions to come, she looks well placed to continue her progress towards the front of the fleet.

Aside from being passed by Davies, Gregoire's other problem has been damage to an outrigger pole which she is affecting repairs on as best as is possible.

Le Blevec at the front of the fleet has yet to crumble under the pressure of the hot race favourites behind and his older generation Finot is a supreme example of how good preparation and a fair slice of inspiration, particularly on the part of Amco, has kept this boat as fast as the day Fagnent first slipped it out of the mould.

Elsewhere in the fleet skipper of Calle Ocho Cafe Cubano, Gregoire Comby came under the sustained attack of flying fish in the night which at one point made life on deck near impossible - there is some doubt over who was more afraid by the events; Gregoire or the fish. Christian Saury has another slice of bad luck with continued electrical problems resulting in no pilot or VHF.

Eric Vassard is now in hospital under observation following his blow to the head.

On the weather front, it is nice apparently. Expected for today are force 3 to 5 from the north east in a fairly mixed up sea. Tomorrow they can expect to top up water supplies with a few welcome downpours - maybe even a quick once over with the shampoo.

To the south of 15N and the North of the 10N, and between 22W and 40W, the Minis should have easterly 3 to 4. With an agitated north-east swell.

And the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone aka The Doldrums) it is currently outlined by points at 06N / 11W; 04N / 21W; 11N / 33W; 10N / 40W and 12N / 62W.

Boat Positions, 17 October 15:43:

1; 151; LE BLEVEC Yves; ACTUAL INTERIM; CL; 1951.0; N162358; W0252091
2; 247; THOMPSON Brian; LIGHTHOUSE LIFE FOUNDATION; CL; 1954.7; N162583; W0251665
3; 304; BESTAVEN Yannick; AQUARELLE.COM; CL; 1966.3; N163613; W0251090
4; 348; GUERIN Ronan; L'ARTISANAT 1ère ENTREPRISE DE FRANCE; CL; 1975.8; N164515; W0250758
5; 347; DOUGUET Corentin; POUR QUE L'OCEAN RESTE BLEU; CL; 1983.6; N164924; W0245633
6; 240; CURWEN Simon; QDS; CL; 1988.6; N165710; W0250281
7; 303; BOISSIERES Arnaud; AQUARELLE.COM; CL; 1988.9; N165716; W0250213
8; 276; DAVIES Samantha; ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT; CL; 2006.0; N170607; W0244639
9; 231; LUCAS François; MARINS SANS FRONTIERES; CL; 2007.0; N170688; W0244571
10; 260; PARNAUDEAU Benoît; REGION POITOU-CHARENTES; CL; 2008.4; N171086;

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