Vendee Globe - Virbac-Paprec 3 out!

Jean Pierre Dick’s Virbac Paprec 3 lost its whole keel as he heads towards Azores High - 2012 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.

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.'