Boat recovered but the search continues....

...for missing Mini Transat competitor

Tuesday October 2nd 2001, Author: Anne Massot, Location: Transoceanic
Yacht 173 of Roberto Varinelli & Coast Guard

The search to find Mini Transat competitor, Roberto Varinelli, reported missing Sunday afternoon is continuing. The portugese autorities are concentrating their search in a region 150 miles off Oporto. Three ships and a plane started the search again in the early hours but there is no news of Roberto so far. The Portuguese navy vessel Iris has recovered Roberto's boat and has towed it back to Lisbon.

This was Roberto's second transatlantic race. In 1999 he finished in a commendable 18th place in a Pogo. For this years attempt he had developed his Proto which had already competed in the Mini Transat in 1997 with Cladio Gardossi at the helm. Before he left he commented " to sail in the Mini Transat has been a life long dream within me and now I will get to live that dream".

For the rest of the fleet it must be an even tougher ordeal knowing that the fate of a fellow competitor is missing at sea. The risk of losing ones life is a scary reality for all sailors taking on these challenges at alone. The other 56 participants of the Transatlantic race continue their battle to Puerto Calero in Lanzarote.

The leading four, Arnaud Boissières, Yannick Bestaven, Samuel Manuard and British Simon Curwen and are this morning positioned close to Madeira. They are making good ground in better breeze after the calm winds of yesterday and continue to widening their gap on the rest of the fleet.

Further back, competitors are in different weather conditions and are making slow progress with only two knots average boat speed.

Ronan Guerin has had an incredible ride on the Craft industry and is currently placed just off Lisbon. Benoit Parnaudeau is about to restart with a new mast and is currently in north Corogne, but he will be quite isolated from the remainder of the fleet and will not have favorable weather to catch up

Positions on page two.....

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