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Transat 650 • Leg 2

McKee reels in the miles after passing Cape Verdes

vendredi 3 octobre 2003Information Transat 650

He keeps on going the man from the States, positively reeling in the miles. At present he is stealing along at an average of 8 knots while his rivals top just 6 knots in the middle of the Cape Verdes. The night has proven to be a particularly good one for Jonathan Mc Kee (247- Team Mc Lube) and comparitively disastrous for his adversaries.

In the early hours, the leader of this second leg of the Transat The Transat #thetransat #ostar 6.50, was long gone from the Cape Verdes while the rest of the fleet were still floundering in the traps set by the 2831 metre summit of the island of Fogo. Fifty four miles now separate Mc Kee from his closest pursuer, Armel Tripon (151- Moulin Rôty). In 24 hours, the former Olympic champion has covered 174 miles and nearly doubled his lead from 28 to 54 miles. Nobody has escaped the effects of his relentless pace. Samuel Manuard (431 - Tip Top Too - Le Grau du Roi- Port Camargue), the very fine winner in Puerto Calero, is also subject to the American’s ruling for the moment, dropping from 58 to 69 miles in his wake. Young gun François Cuinet (139- Réglisse) is suffering too, now down to 76 miles from 59 yesterday.

The most worrying thing is that there are no options opening up for the chasing pack as the leading quartet have all taken similar courses, passing offshore of the Cape Verdes, between Sal and Sao Nicolau, then between Fogo and Sao Tiago.

Pierre Rolland (347-Extrado), Sébastien Roubinet (346-Adrenaline), 5th and 6th respectively, have been experiencing arithmetical precision. The slightest gap is paid for in hard cash. Jaume Mumbru (385- Port de Barcelona) had taken a swing right out to the east, leaving Boa Vista to starboard, before tacking to come round onto a more direct course. From being seventh, 91 miles from the leader, he now finds himself back in twelfth, 119 miles away.

This option was also chosen by David Raison (440-Rayon Liquide), still leader of the Series fleet, who has seen his lead on Erwan Tymen (426 - Pogo 2 Navy Lest) melt away to 0.7 miles and increase his handicap on Mc Kee, even though they don‚t belong to the same class (20 miles in 24 hours).

The Cape Verdes and the port of Mindello on Sao Vicente in particular, will suddenly see their population boom in the coming hours. Since Thursday we have known that Pia l‚Obry (316- will make a pitstop there to carry out repairs. Now we have learnt that Stéphane Ayrault (135- Wyeth) will call in to repair a broken rudder blade and Arthur Barret (29- Ubaye) a halyard spinnaker. Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty (321- Artech-Caen La Mer) is in two minds as to whether to stop or not ; he has torn his large spinnaker.

Barnabé Chivot (335-FTH Thirard) has decided to continue despite automatic pilot problems, saying that he’ll "drop the sails when he sleeps". Other skippers have various worries but don’t want to stop either. « We’re racing. If we stop we’ll lose our morale. »

This is especially so as the conditions aren’t fantastic. To the south of the archipelago there is still a little north-easterly of Force 2 to 4, that will maintain its strength as it veers north. The north however, is becalmed. Bernard Morin (49 - Jogging International), the most senior of the race and also on the most senior boat, a coco 1986, must be beginning to wonder if he’s brought enough cigarettes. He was running short when he made it into Puerto Calero « I get through them when it‚s calm » he said. And yet, he still reckons on two packets a day at the best of times. Well whatever it takes...!

Translation Kate Jennings

• Positions 0700 UT 3 October 2003

Pos Voile Skipper Bateau Type Lat Long Dist. à l’arrivée
- 1 247 Jonathan Mc Kee TEAM MC LUBE proto N134596 W0241698 1828.2
- 2 151 Armel Tripon MOULIN ROTY proto N150646 W0251000 1882.2
- 3 431 Samuel Manuard TIP TOP TOO - LE GRAU DU ROI PORT CAMARGUE proto N145741 W0240601 1897.6
- 4 139 François Cuinet REGLISSE proto N150153 W0235946 1904.0
- 5 347 Pierre Rolland EXTRADO proto N153933 W0252445 1908.1
- 6 346 Sébastien Roubinet ADRENALINE proto N151300 W0235928 1914.5
- 7 354 Bruno Garcia SALADINO proto N160228 W0251603 1932.4
- 8 353 Willy Garcia CEYLAN DIAMANTES proto N160351 W0251410 1934.2
- 9 312 Pascal Doin ASNQ proto N153095 W0235035 1934.4
- 10 393 Cian Mc Carthy THE TOM CREAN proto N153780 W0235161 1940.2
- 11 440 David Raison RAYON LIQUIDE serie N152233 W0231121 1942.6
- 12 426 Erwan Tymen POGO 2 NAVY LEST serie N160925 W0250288 1943.3
- 13 260 Richard Mérigeaux BON PIED BON OEIL proto N155283 W0241218 1946.1
- 14 385 Jaume Mumbru PORT DE BARCELONA proto N154741 W0235503 1947.6
- 15 250 Brieuc Maisoneuve PAYS GRANVILLAIS serie N153358 W0231606 1950.7
- 16 167 Manuel Castilla VISION ORIGINALE serie N155543 W0240478 1951.3
- 17 258 Marc Gascons TIP-TOP proto N155481 W0235410 1954.8
- 18 326 Ian Munslow ISHTAR proto N155531 W0235091 1956.5
- 19 421 Michel Mirabel GWALARN IV serie N154373 W0232378 1956.7
- 20 269 Lionel Rubio de Teran GROUPE CIBF serie N160178 W0240246 1958.0

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