Vendee Globe - Perilous ascent for JP Dick, Virbac Paprec 3
by Laurent et Anne-Charlotte on 20 Dec 2012
For a number of days in the Vendee Globe, JP Dick has been unable to use the headsails on Virbac-Paprec 3 (small spinnaker and small gennaker). The part holding the top of the sail was broken. Despite the southern latitude, Jean-Pierre Dick climbed to the top of the mast during the night (France). This dangerous operation lasted two hours and enabled the Nice-based skipper to replace the damaged part with a new one.
Virbac Paprec 3 - 2012 Vendee Globe © Jean-Pierre Dick / Paprec Virbac / Vendée Globe http://www.vendeeglobe.org/
'I had been waiting for a weather window to climb the mast for several days. It's a risky thing to do, but I didn’t have any choice. You’re all alone in a strong wind and on a rough sea and to top it all, it’s freezing and you’re in the roaring fifties. I can assure you that you think twice before you go up.
I waited for conditions to calm a little. I positioned Virbac-Paprec 3 to run downwind, to slow the boat down to 12 knots. Both the climb up and down were very dangerous. You get shaken about in all the directions. My heart was in my boots. However, I succeeded in replacing the faulty part.
I am very happy to have done this, because there is little opportunity in this region for such airborne acrobatics. Virbac-Paprec 3 has returned to her full potential. This is important for the rest of the race.'
JP Dick at the top of the mast - Virbac-Paprec 3
Ranking at 09:00 (UT+1):
1. F.Gabart - Macif - 12 095.7 miles from the finish
2. A.Le Cleac' H - Banque Populaire, 8.6 miles from the leader
3. JP Dick - Virbac-Paprec 3 to 493.6 miles from the Venee Globe website