by Hélène Tzara
Transat Jacques Vabre, transatlantic race from Le Havre to Costa Rica, has been won by Jean-Pierre Dick and Jérémie Beyou, who crossed the finish line at 08h 15mn 54s, UTC/GMT this Friday morning (02h 15mn 54s local time).
Virbac-Paprec 3 - Transat Jacques Vabre 2011
The French duo set a new monohull record for the race course from Le Havre - Puerto Limon. They improved the previous 2009 record by one hour and seven minutes.
The two men hugged each other; Dick is now a three times winner of this race and twice winner of the double handed Barcelona World Race round the world. He is unbeaten in IMOCA Open 60 double handed races. Local Caribbean bands greeted the winners of the 2011 edition in the very early hours of the morning.
Their elapsed time is 54s 15d 18h 15mm. Their average speed course on the theoretical course of 4730 miles is 12.51 knots. They have traveled 5167 miles on the water at an average speed of 13.66 knots.
Jean Pierre Dick has always formed winning IMOCA Open 60 partnerships.
It is the third victory in the Transat Jacques Vabre for Jean Pierre Dick. He won at his first attempt with Nicolas Abiven in 2003, again in 2005 with Loïc Peyron, the partner with whom he then went on to win this year’s Barcelona World Race, double handed around the world. Dick also won the Barcelona World Race in 2007-8 with Irish co-skipper Damian Foxall.
Jérémie Beyou wins his first major IMOCA Open 60 race, racing for the first time in an offshore race partnership with Dick after victory in this summer’s solo Solitaire du Figaro in the Figaro class.
Jean-Pierre Dick remains unbeaten in the IMOCA Class in the double-handed discipline.
In fact Virbac-Paprec 3 led out of the bay of Le Havre, passing the General Metzinger buoy, but the win of Virbac-Paprec 3 has its foundations on two major strategic decisions. On the morning of Sunday November 6th, after Wednesday’s start, while passing the longitude of the Azores and setting up for the third big system since the start, the majority of the IMOCA Open 60 fleet held south to escape the worst of the bad weather. Virbac-Paprec 3 stayed on the north routing with Hugo Boss, Bureau Vallée and Gamesa. By the next day, November 7th on the 1100hrs positions report Virbac-Paprec 3 were in the lead again and were never passed. Ten different IMOCA Open 60’d led the race at different stages, Safran, Groupe Bel, Cheminées Poujoulat, Bureau Vallée, Hugo Boss, Macif, Banqe Populaire and PRB.
The second gain was two days later when the main group again stayed south to seek the trade winds and ended up struggling for breeze, while the three in the north always profitted. On November 11th their margin to Macif in third is 305 miles. So their northern route was the hardest, but the most effective, experiencing the strongest winds and biggest seas. They broke nothing major and paced themselves perfectly.
Transat Jacques Vabre website