For race winners Jean Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron, aboard Virbac-Paprec 3, in the double-handed Barcelona World Race, the last miles were some of the most trying.
The winds softened, then stiffened, then softened considerably during the team's last days of racing, but it didn't deter this powerhouse duo from claiming what was rightfully theirs: A convincing win in this newly established ocean classic. 'The passage of Gibraltar was hard,' said Peyron. 'It was some of the worst times with the boat since we left.' Dick and Peyron have driven this race, starting from the nascent miles earlier this year, and have not relinquished control. Amazingly, the team stopped not once but twice (including a mandatory 48-hour penalty pit stop in New Zealand to deal with broken bits), yet this did not prevent them from controlling the leader board for over half the planet. The sort of sailing witnessed aboard Virbac-Paprec 3 is the stuff of legend.
Virbac-Paprec 3 - Barcelona World Race 2011 Virbac Paprec 3
Interestingly, this victory marked Dick's second consecutive win in this race, after leaving his footprints on the top step of the podium in the 2007/2008 edition, which he sailed with Damian Foxall. 'The competition was tougher this time with a rival from the start in Foncia and then starting from New Zealand we tussled with Mapfre and with them through to the end,' said Dick. 'This [edition of the] race was more difficult, I think. I had the feeling we could be beaten at many times.' For Peyron, this win is one of many in his long and distinguished sailing resume, but one that he is certainly proud of, nonetheless. Hats off to these impressive sailors and be sure to check out all of our BWR coverage, in this issue.
Also, stand by for second-placed Mapfre, sailed by Spanish double Olympic medalists and Volvo Ocean Race veterans Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernández, to finish soon.
34th America's Cup - AC45 testings - Four AC45 line up - AC45 sailing on Hauraki Gulf Ivor Wilkins/www.americascup.com
In AC circles, the March 31, 2011 entry deadline has now passed, and the report card is positive: Entries are up appreciably over previous Cups. 'Fifteen teams promises an exciting America's Cup World Series, Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Series and ultimately 34th America's Cup Final,' said Iain Murray, Regatta Director and CEO, America's Cup Race Management (ACRM). 'The new wing-sailed, multi-hulled yachts will be fast and physically demanding, keeping the racing dynamic and interesting until the finish. We are looking forward to seeing these teams on the AC World Series circuit later this year. It is time to go racing.' Stay tuned for more AC news, as it breaks.
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