sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Vendee Globe - The skipper not the boat wins, says Jean Pierre Dick
Vendee Globe - The skipper not the boat wins, says Jean Pierre Dick

'Virbac Paprec 3 during the Europa Warm’Up 2012'    Jacques Vapillon ©    Click Here to view large photo

The 2012 Vendee Globe is set to get underway in just over five days’ time and now the tallest skipper of the race, Jean Pierre Dick, talks with Clare Macnaughton about his inner monologue and planking.

Towering at 6ft 4in, or 192cm, Jean Pierre Dick is the tallest skipper participating in the seventh edition of the Vendée Globe. 'Being tall is an advantage and a disadvantage. Inside the boat I have to use kneepads because I am not able to stand up. I train to strengthen my back and stomach. I do the plank a lot.' (Planking is an exercise that is used in pilates, yoga and pole dancing to strengthen the core stability.)

'When I am outside it’s an advantage because I can reach the sails more easily. Usually the solo sailor they are quite short. I am thinking of Ellen, Bernard, Gabart, Golding for example. I don’t see my height as a limiting factor.'

This edition of the Vendée Globe will see six new generation boats on the start line. These boats have designed to be lighter, more rigid and faster. Jean Pierre explained why this is considered to be a key differentiator.

'With the boat hulls we are getting stiffer and stiffer. There is a lot technology in the boat. With each generation it is getting more and more difficult to get the express speed. It’s always better to have a fast boat. If you have a slow boat you have to be very clever.'

Over many years of competitive sailing Jean Pierre Dick has been fortunate to be able customise his boat to his own particular specification.

Jean Pierre Dick, Virbac-Paprec 3 -  Yvan Zedda ©   Click Here to view large photo
'With this boat from A-Z I have been involved with the concept of the boat. It’s important. For example, with Banque Populaire it’s possible the skipper was not completely in agreement with the boat and it can create frustration. I feel that I have built the boat that I want. I designed it right at the beginning following my two single handed around the world trips for the Vendée Globe as well as the Barcelona World race which I won twice.' He continued.

'It’s good that my boat is a new generation because you are starting with a blank sheet of paper. You can decide what you want because you have the experience to know what you want. I have two world tours already in this boat. I did the Barcelona World Race and I, also, did the delivery from Auckland with the boat. It was not racing but then I raced three trans-Atlantics with the boat. From a timing perspective it is good for me because it’s new generation and I have done more miles than my competitors. Banque Pop dismasted and PRB have not done anything. When I set up the project I thought this was one of my best assets.'

When considering the unpredictability of the fickle beast that is the Vendée Globe that combines weather, waves, distance, and the unknown, as hurdles to overcome, there are few certainties.

'You have four oceans to cross and that is the only certainty. You need speed because you cannot win if you don’t go very fast.'

The sails are the engine of the boat and the choices a skipper makes with his sail selection can be critical. The bigger the sail area the greater the power.

'I have selected the sails that I wanted. It’s a big part of the game. I have been working with the same sailmaker for years now, close to thirty years. The sails are a weapon but sometimes they are strength and sometimes a weakness. It depends on the range of the wind. If you are in the range you are perfect and then sometimes you are little bit off because you have taken the wrong decision. I think the advantage of my boat is that single-handed I have a set of sails that have an all-round range. They have a big sail area. I think my front sails are a bit bigger than my competitors. We discuss every sail and consider what size we want and what effect we want. This is long term work and I have done so much work on the sails on all of my boats. The setting of the sail is critical to boat performance. I can’t tell you exactly everything. We all sail together in La Port de Foret so for the French boats I know all the sails of most of my competitors.'

But Jean Pierre Dick is pragmatic. 'Sailing is a sport of preparation. Sometimes you have to face the reality that someone has a better things and focus instead on the global objectives You can only try to be globally better than your competitors.'

He has learnt many lessons throughout his sailing career spanning 11 years.

'At the beginning I had a lot of issues, including a capsize and so we are used to abandoning races to technical issues. Boats are like athletes. Rugby players can get injured at every match. I read Jonny Wilkinson’s memoir and he said that he had a lot of injury trouble. Fortunately, over the last six years I have won five of the different big races, which is a good track. But I have had issues, such as the last Vendée, and I had to abandon the race.'

The skipper is the beating heart of the boat that is to carry them around the course, and inevitably, after prolonged periods at sea, alone on the boat, an unconventional relationship is created between the boat and skipper.

'Because the race is so long you have a peculiar relationship with the boat after so long at sea. I like boats. They are my passion and I don’t want to hurt my boat. It’s like having a relationship with a big tool. It’s not that I talk to the boat but more that I talk to myself. That I think of the boat as a big engine, and say to myself 'Jean Pierre you should do that.' Or 'Jean Pierre be careful. It’s like the devil is on my shoulder and I am trying to work out what is the right thing to do. As if there are two voices in your mind and you must select the right one to listen to.'

According to Jean Pierre Dick it is the skipper not the boat who wins the Vendée Globe.

'We have to make a lot decisions at sea. It’s not the boat that wins the race. It’s the skipper. This is really the race when you can say the skipper won. Sometimes when you have a crew it is not so clear who is giving the momentum. I like the race. I like the concept of sailing around the world. That for me is very important.'

Vendee Globe website


by Clare Macnaughton

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=103491

6:50 PM Sun 4 Nov 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2012 Vendee Globe

Related News Stories:

06 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Samantha Davies ready for second participation
06 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Old and new set to start in Les Sables d'Olonne
05 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Bertrand de Broc to take thousands on his journey
05 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Cheminées Poujoulat skipper aims to finish
04 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Record visitors to Race Village in Les Sables d’Olonne
03 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Mirabaud skipper looks forward to monumental challenge
01 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe Race Village to be closed due to weather
31 Oct 2012  Vendee Globe - Safran skipper seeks a new experience
30 Oct 2012  Vendee Globe Race Village opening draws record spectators
28 Oct 2012  Vendee Globe - Skippers' Day in Sables d’Olonne
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

































































International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,


ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - American unbeatable on day 1
RS Feva World Championships - All set at Yacht Club de Carnac
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards - Nominations now open
BIC Techno 293 Worlds - Steady winds on day 2 + Video
29er North American Open Championship - Qualifying series wraps up
Opening ceremony O'pen Bic World Cup, Travemunde Week, Germany
Six Metre Europeans - Wind fails to make an appearance on day 2
Edgartown Race Weekend - Let the sailing (and good times) begin
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Action commences July 23
International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video
Spirits high as Team Alvimedica completes Transatlantic crossing
Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature
29er North American Championship - Day 1 in Kingston
Red Bull 49erFX: First look at the Olympic sailing venue at Rio
Fuerteventura Kiteboarding Grand Slam - Classic conditions on day 3
NYYC Race Week Part II images by Rolex/Daniel Forster
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 1
Six Metre European Championship - Blazing sunshine on opening day
National Sailing Hall of Fame to present Lifetime Achievement Award
International Moth Worlds: Greenhalgh and Rashley tied at the top   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Fantastic finale determines winners   
Six Metre Class British Open Championship - Llanoria and Valhalla win   
Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games   
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA holds foiling camp at Wangi SC   
Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi OR completes double Atlantic crossing   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team SCA has a 'pull through day' off the Canaries   
No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video   
International Moth Worlds: Three bullets in a row for Greenhalgh   
U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening   
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2   
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again   
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible   
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters   
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek   
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton   
NYYC Race Week - Saving the best for last   
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander commands   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL VIR US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT