Thompson drops to fifth

Leaders expected to round the Eddystone light tonight

Tuesday May 22nd 2001, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
British competitor Brian Thompson has lost the lead in the Mini Pavois race from La Rochelle to Portsmouth and is currently lying in fifth place. The lead has been taken by French sailor and favourite Ronan Guerin on board the brand new Magnen-Nivelt design L'Artisanat. Two other Brits are mid-fleet: Paul Peggs has dropped to 13th place while madforsailing correspondent Sam Davies is 16th. There are no positions at present for Ian Munslow and Mike Inglis.

To date these extreme 21ft Minis have been sailing in moderate north easterlies and brilliant sunshine. They have been able to achieve respectable average speeds (around eight knots), but even after 48 hours of sailing there is a 70 mile spread between first and last. But the high pressure system currently dominating the weather may not hold. The forecast indicates that the fleet may have to beat up the Channel into 25 knot north easterlies - a particularly unpleasant experience in such small, flat-bottomed fliers.

This evening the leaders are due to round the Eddystone lighthouse off Plymouth and the latest ETAs have them arriving in Portsmouth on Thursday.

The 65-strong fleet is divided into one-offs ('protos') and series boats, most notably the Pogo. In this class, the Belgium entrant Denis van Weynberg is leading on board Paneb.

Standings:

One-offs
1. Ronan Guerin - L'Artisanat-1ère Entreprise de France (Magnen/Nivelt design)
2. Arnaud Boissieres - Mayflower (Magnen/Nivelt design)
3. Corentin Douguet - Pour que l'Ocean Reste Blue (Rolland design)
4. Yannick Bestaven - Cafe du Theatre (Magnen/Nivelt design)
5. Brian Thompson - I Must be Mad (Simon Rogers design)

Other Brits:
13. Paul Peggs - Blue One (Mark Mills design)
16. Sam Davies - Aberdeen Asset Management (Andrew Cape design)

Series
1. Denis van Weynbergh - Paneb
2. Rodelphe Jacq - K&B Communication/Murphy & Nye
3. Frederic Duval - Pop'in la Maitraise du Feu
4. Laurent Negrel - Cours Prive Beause Jour
5. Alain Delord - K'Lick

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