by Vendee Globe
Virbac-Paprec 3’s skipper Jean-Pierre Dick made a call to his team late Monday, informing them that his boat lost its whole keel. Although the situation has stabilised, the sailor from Nice believes his chance of landing a place on the podium in the Vendee Globe race has sunk.
Jean Pierre Dick’s Virbac Paprec 3 lost its whole keel as he heads towards Azores High - 2012 Vendee Globe
At 2345hrs UTC, while sailing in the third position of the Vendée Globe, about 500 miles northwest of the Cape Verde islands, Jean-Pierre Dick called his team to inform them that his boat, Virbac-Paprec 3, had lost its whole keel at 2245hrs UTC. The skipper from Nice has stabilised the situation. The boat has full ballasts and Dick is sailing at 8 knots towards the Azores.
Jean-Pierre Dick told the race office by satellite phone:
'I was sailing on starboard tack under mainsail with one reef and the solent (sail), in 20 knots of wind. I was inside when the wind increased suddenly. I went out to adjust the sails. At that moment, I heard a loud bang.
Virbac-Paprec 3 went to the luff and was pushed on its side. I eased the mainsail sheet and solent sheet. I furled it (the solent). I went to the end of the boom and eased the running backstay. I went downwind smoothly and the boat slowly went back into the right position. I filled all the ballasts to stabilise the boat.
I am heading to the Azores at 8 knots with two reefs in the mainsail and with a staysail. The situation is stabilised and I think that there is no risk of capsizing. My dream of a podium finish in the Vendée Globe has suddenly sunk.'