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French sailor awarded prestigious trophy for 'Act of Seamanship'

by Sail-World Cruising on 7 Feb 2014
IMOCA 60 Virbac-Paprec3 - Over 2,500 incredible nautical miles without a keel SW
Great seamanship has been recognised in a French sailor. The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has awarded the Rod Stephens Trophy to Jean-Pierre Dick of Nice, France, for outstanding seamanship, after sailing for 2,650nm without a keel while competing in a around-world event.

The CCA selected Dick to receive the trophy, not for his completion of the Vendée Globe 2012-2013 race, but for sailing without his keel for the last amazing 2,650 miles of the solo non-stop around-the-world event.

The trophy is given 'for an act of seamanship that significantly contributes to the safety of a yacht or one or more individuals at sea.' The award will be presented on May 21, 2014 at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan.

Dick, a qualified veterinary surgeon with a master’s degree in business, spent many years as a business executive before devoting his life to ocean sailing. His accomplishments include four circumnavigations and five transatlantic crossings.

In 2013, Dick was racing in his third Vendee Globe aboard the IMOCA 60 Virbac-Paprec3. Going into the final stretch of the race Dick was in the running for third place, but on January 21st about 500 miles northwest of the Cape Verde Islands, the canting keel broke off the boat.

In order to keep the boat upright without the keel, Dick filled the water ballast tanks, outran a 50-knot storm and anchored in a cove off the coast of Spain.

Then, after 48 hours, he continued sailing without the keel, and on February 4, 2013, after a total of 27,734 miles, Dick crossed the finish line in fourth place with an elapsed time of 86 days, three hours, three minutes and 40 seconds.

What kind of feat was that!

Congratulations, Jean-Pierre, certainly true seamanship.

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