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20 November 2002, 10:31 am
Ravussin Retires, whilst Ellen MacArthur Takes The Lead
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©Gilles Martin-RagetPromovoile

Route du Rhum
St Malo - Guadeloupe

Another retirement in the Route de Rhum sees only 3 multihulls left in the ORMA class. At 2240 GMT last night the leading Multihull 'Technomarine' skippered by Stéve Ravussin was just 734 miles from the finish when he was hit by a squall.

I had less than 15 knots of wind, under gennaker and one reef when I went to have a rest. I was woken when I felt the boat accelerate in a squall. I pulled out the gennaker sheet which I had lead down below, but it was too late. The floats had already ploughed in … everything was going very quickly. The boat capsized stern over bow… and I suddenly found myself with my head under water. Reported Ravussin. Stéve's shore crew are currently organising a rescue operation for Steve and his boat and his hopes of claiming first place are well and truly over.

The retirement of Ravussin leaves Great Britain's Ellen MacArthur and Kingfisher in 1st place overall after she reclaimed the lead from fellow Brit, Mike Golding. At the 0700 GMT rankings, Golding on board Ecover found himself 62.9 nautical miles behind MacArhtur after suffering problems during the night with his spinnaker - his second and last. Whether his position will be further threatened by Joe Seeten in 3rd place and Roland Jourdain, who has charged back through the fleet to 4th place after stopping to make repairs, remains to be seen.

Class Leaders at 0700 GMT

ORMA 60' multihulls: Marc Guillemot Biscuits La Trinitane - Ethypharm

IMOCA 60' monohulls: Ellen MacArthur Kingfisher

Class 2 50' monohulls: Nick Moloney Ashfield Healthcare

Class 3 40' monohulls: Régis Guillemot Storagetek

Class 2 50' multihulls: Frank Yves Escoffier Crepes Whaou!

Kate Jennings/ISAF Secretariat
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