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JP Dick Capsizes MOD 70

Jean-Pierre Dick and Rouland Jourdain’s MOD70 Virbac-Paprec capsized and dismasted yesterday while training for the Transat Jacques Vabre.

© Y.Zedda / VIRBAC-PAPREC Sailing Team

This year has had its high points and low points for famed French yachtsman Jean-Pierre Dick. While sailing his IMOCA 60 Virbac-Paprec 3 toward the finish line in third place during this year’s Vendée Globe, his keel fell off. Exuding true class and professionalism, the skipper from Nice calmly ballasted the boat up and ran away from a 50-knot storm to anchor off the coast of Spain, eventually finishing the race in fourth place, arriving to a well-earned hero’s welcome. After the Vendée, Dick and sponsors Virbac and Paprec made the move from one hull to three hulls with the launch of their new MOD 70 Virbac-Paprec 70.

Dick (right) was injured in the accident, but Jourdain managed to escape relatively unscathed.

© 2013 VIRBAC-PAPREC Sailing Team

Since then, it’s been no less of a roller coaster for Dick. After finishing in last place (fourth out of four) in the inaugural Route des Princes, the team was looking forward to the biennial Transat Jacques Vabre with a renewed optimism. Dick won the IMOCA class in the 2011 edition of the doublehanded transatlantic race and, by teaming up with none other than world-renowned shorthanded sailor Roland ‘Bilou’ Jourdain, the crew was almost guaranteed a solid result.

A sight that would sicken any sailor.

© Y.Zedda / VIRBAC-PAPREC Sailing Team

The dynamic duo were a shoe-in to rip across the Atlantic, but their boat is now being towed to port — sans mast. While training off the coast of France yesterday in a 15-20 knot breeze, Dick and Jourdain were surprised by a strong gust that caused them to capsize in dramatic fashion. Jourdain was uninjured in the incident, but Dick was thrown into the water and suffered a back injury. Considering that the 6.9-ton tri then collapsed onto him, it’s nothing short of a miracle his injuries weren’t any worse.

“I’m still in shock,” Dick said. “Everything happened so fast. I fell from a great height. I hit something and fell into the water. It was violent. Fortunately, I managed to get back on board very quickly and realized that my back was hurt.”

We wish a speedy recovery to the always vibrant and positive Jean-Pierre Dick. Stay tuned to ‘Lectronic for ongoing coverage of the Transat Jacques Vabre which begins November 3.



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