French duo Jean-Pierre Dick and Jérémie Beyou aboard Virbac-Paprec 3 finished first at the tenth anniversary of the Transat Jacques Vabre on Friday, November 18. It took the pair 15 days, 18 hours and 54 seconds to sail from Le Havre, France to the Puerto Limon, Costa Rica finish line.
The race’s October 30 start date was postponed three days due to storm force winds of over 60 knots sweeping across the North Atlantic; when the fleet of 13 IMOCA Open 60 class monohulls finally left the harbor, they were faced with three low-pressure areas in a row. Despite the testing start, Dick and Beyou were able to remain in first place for most of the race as a result of smart tactics and their decision to take a winning northerly route.
“We did not hold back, though some watches were difficult. You have to learn to think in these races and concentrate on yourself, not just the boat,” says Dick.
Jean-Pierre Dick is no stranger to victory. In April, the two-time Transat Jacques Vabre champion won the two-handed Barcelona World Race with co-skipper Loïc Peyron. Jérémie Beyou is also an accomplished sailor; he won the solo one-design Solitaire du Figaro this past summer. In addition to coming in first, the pair set a new record time, beating the 2009 record by one hour and seven minutes.
The Spanish-British paring of Guillermo Altadill and Alex Thomson aboard Hugo Boss followed the same route as Virbac-Paprec 3 and finished second, completing the race in 16 days, 9 hours and 20 minutes. The pair reached Puerto Limon 15 hours, 4 minutes and 6 seconds after Jean Pierre Dick and Jérémie Beyou. Thompson also finished second to Dick in the 2007-8 Barcelona World Race, the last race he completed.
The first Multi 50 sailors to reach Puerto Limon were Yves Le Blevec and Samuel Manuard aboard Actual, while Loic Fequet and Loic Escoffler aboard Maitre Jacques received second place. As for the Class 40 champions, Yannick Bestaven and Eric Drouglazet aboard Aquarelle.com finished first after being neck-in-neck with the second-place winners, Damien Seguin and Yoann Richomme aboard ERDF—Des Pieds et des Mains for much of the race.
For more news on the 2011 Transat Jacques Vabre, click here.