Racing

Jean-Pierre Dick Repeats in Barcelona Race

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Sailing with fellow Frenchman Loick Peyron, Jean-Pierre Dick has repeated his 2007-08 triumph in the Barcelona World Race by winning the second running of the double-handed event aboard Virbac-Paprec 3 in 93 days, 22 hours, 20 minutes and 36 seconds.

Finishing in second place about 23 hours later were Spanish sailors Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez aboard Mapfre. In third place were Spaniards Pachi Rivero and Antonio Piris aboard Renault Z.E. Sailing Team, with Pepe Ribes and Alex Pella aboard Estrella Dam in line to finish fourth. The sole American in the race, Ryan Breymaier aboard Neutrogena with Germany sailor Boris Herrmann, was in fifth.

“I am so happy to be here. I had my objective and today it has been satisfied. It is magical the way we won it together,” Dick said shortly after finishing. “We have known each other for a long time, and it is for me a huge privilege to have been able to sail around the world with Loick. A wonderful experience. We both wanted to win, of course, and our cohesion was focused on this victory.”

As was the case with the inaugural running of the 25,000-mile event, the second Barcelona World Race, which is held aboard high-powered IMOCA 60s, proved hard on both boats and crews. Since the start on December 21 four of the 14 starters had to withdraw due to mechanical problems, and a number of crews making pit stops along the way to regroup and repair.

Among the causalities were none other than French racing icon and double Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart aboard Foncia following damage to their mast off South Africa. On their way to victory, Dick and Peyron made a pair of “technical” stops in Brazil and Wellington, New Zealand, which cost them 63 hours.

Martinez and Fernandez—who have won multiple Olympic medals and world championships as a 49er team—completed their circumnavigation without stopping, at one point rebuilding a broken daggerboard underway after hitting an unidentified floating object. Their strong finish was all the more extraordinary given that neither one had sailed an IMOCA 60 until just a few months before the start of the race.

“These past 94 days have been never-ending. If you told me it was 105 days, I would believe you. But it has been a great regatta," Fernanadez said.

Regarding the decision not to make any stops for repairs, Fernandez said: “We would rather be fifth and complete the circumnavigation without stopping, than finish second and stop. This is our opportunity to go round non-stop together and that is what we have always wanted to do.”

For more on the race, including real-time race tracking, click here.

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