Mini favourite may not make it

With time running out Nick Bubb is still on the waiting list for the Mini Transat
The biennial Mini Transat sets off from La Rochelle on Saturday week, 7 September, and looks set to be one of the most incredible singlehanded offshore races ever. No less than 70 Minis are entered in the race from La Rochelle to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil via a stopover in Puerto Calero in the Canaries. 70 boats represents one of the biggest fleets ever seen in the Mini Transat and features some extremely tough competitors such as double Olympic medallist Jonathan McKee and regular French winners such as Fred Duthill, designer Sam Manuard and Armel Tripon. And there will definitely not be less than 70 entries because a major issue with the Mini Transat at present is the waiting list... As of today one of the extremely tough competitors who may not be on the start line is British race favourite Nick Bubb. Bubb has built a new boat especially to race in the Mini Transat, has put the necessary funding in place to take part, has competed in all but one of the races this year, has finished regularly in the top five, has completed the necessary 1,000 mile solo passage and 1,000 miles of Mini racing - but, incredibly, has yet to get a place. And time is running out very quickly. Frustratingly Bubb is at the top of the waiting list and has been for the last week since French race favourite Armel Tripon managed to squeeze in when one of the boats in the 'Series' fleet withdrew. Eight names are currently on the waiting list of which five are non-French - remarkable considering the French majority within this fleet. Aside from Bubb, they include Swede Eskill Degsel, Tobias Hochreutener from Switzerland, Ari Huusela from Finland (racing Andrew Cape/Sam Davies' old Mini) and Walter Ussai from Spain. If there