MINI TRANSAT

Leader’s Boat Damaged

LANZAROTTE, Canary Islands-During a race to introduce beginners to the Mini class boats, the 3.5-meter spinnaker pole/bowsprit of Yannic Bestaven’s Aquarelle.com was broken into three pieces. Bestaven, who built the boat himself with the aid of second placed Arnaud Boissieres, will have until Thursday morning to repair or replace the carbon fiber pole.

The extra day is fortuitous for Bestaven - the second leg of the Mini-Transat Race was originally to restart for the 3,500 miles to Salvador Bahia in Brazil on Wednesday. The race committee decided to give extra time to those competitors who were dismasted on the first night at sea and who went ashore, replaced the spars, and rejoined the race.
They include Ronan Guerin in Artisanat, one of the pre-race favorites, and Paul Peggs of Britain in a Mark Mills design. They are now in Lanzarotte, but can usefully put the extra day that they have been granted to improve preparation. The Race Committee's act is generally well received and is based on its desire to give the competitors what they want and have paid for. After all, the 55 boats in this race have been through an extensive qualification of 2,000 miles, of which 1,000 have been in racing conditions.