Vendée Globe Skipper Jean-Pierre Dick Loses Keel

Vendée Globe skipper Jean-Pierre Dick’s hope of placing third was crushed Monday when his boat, Virbac-Paprec 3, suddenly lost its entire 4-ton keel just before midnight.
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
Jean%20Pierre%20Dick

Vendée Globe skipper Jean-Pierre Dick’s hope of placing third was crushed Monday when his boat, Virbac-Paprec 3, suddenly lost its entire 4-ton keel just before midnight.

With only 2,000 miles left in his third Vendée Globe, the incident occurred approximately 500 miles northwest of the Carpe Verde islands. “I was sailing on starboard tack under mainsail with one reef and the solent, in 20 knots of wind…I went out to adjust the sails. At that moment, I heard a loud bang,” reported Dick.

“I eased off the main sail and the boom went down in the water. The boat then violently bent on her side, and she stayed like that for quite a long time, until the wind got weaker and the rain stopped,” Dick continued. “Then I could slowly bear away. The runner was on the wrong side of the boom, but I was still able to bear away, roll the solent up and go to the end of the boom to move the runner back on the right side.”

Dick managed to fill the ballasts to stabilize his boat and is now sailing 1,000 miles toward the Azores at 8 knots with a staysail and two reefs in his mainsail. He plans to arrive at the Azores within six days, at about the same time he’d originally hoped to complete the race.

British sailor Alex Thomson is now likely to take third, though Dick has not yet retired from the race. Dick, who was closing in on Vendée Globe leaders Francois Gabart and Armel Cléac´h, is heartbroken. “My dream of a podium finish in the Vendée Globe has suddenly sunk.”

Photo courtesy of Vendée Globe/Jean Marie Liot

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Check the waypoint  Most errors with GPS and paper chart navigation are caused by the operator punching in the wrong numbers or plotting the lat/long incorrectly. The surest way to double-check a ...read more

Furlex-Electric

Gear: Seldén’s Furlex Electric

Furl Power Seldén’s Furlex Electric offers an easy path into the world of sweat-free headsail furling. The compact unit can be retrofitted to an existing manual Furlex unit or installed as a replacement for whatever you’ve got now. Its DC-DC converter accepts your boat’s 12V or ...read more

11_DSC8423Tom-Zydler

Cruising: Nova Scotia

There’s a unique cruising ground that combines access to urban locations with easy escapes to wilderness and nature. Its native people may be the friendliest on the east coast of North America. Its coastline runs 250 nautical miles in a straight line, but that should be ...read more

01-LEAD-shutterstock_727849660

Boat Monitoring System

Boat Oversight In a world where you can track your friends’ locations in real time and stream yourself live on the internet, it should come as no surprise that you can also keep a close eye on your boat from the comfort of home. In fact, not only is there a plethora of options ...read more

pilot_saloon_42-_en_navigation_11

Boat Review: Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 42

Old salts grouse about modern aesthetics. It’s just what they do, and the hard lines and spartan interiors of today’s production boats give them many reasons to complain. French builder Wauquiez, however, seems to consistently be able to marry contemporary elements with ...read more

JuneWaterlines

Sights and Stories Cruising the Caribbean

Though I hate to think of myself as a “disaster tourist,” I can’t deny one of the things I was most curious about as I sailed south last fall to visit St. Martin, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico was how much hurricane damage I would see. I’m sure no one needs reminding that ...read more