Vendee Globe have just announced that Virbac-Paprec 3 has lost her keel, 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 her 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.'
Updates will follow
by Vendee Globe Media
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4:46 AM Tue 22 Jan 2013GMT
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