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Spanish stopover before Les Sables dOlonne for Jean-Pierre Dick

by Virbac-Paprec 3 31 Jan 2013 06:41 GMT 31 January 2013
Jean-Pierre Dick on Virbac-Paprec 3 is stopping over in the cove of San Ciprián, Spain in the Vendée Globe 2012-2013 © Vincent Curutchet / Dark Frame/DPPI / Vendée Globe

Jean-Pierre Dick is tenacious and is not giving up. Virbac-Paprec 3's skipper wants to finish the Vendée Globe by giving himself every chance of success. Sailing without a keel for one week, at 21:00 this evening he took the decision to anchor or moor in a shelter on the north Spanish coast*.

This will enable JP to avoid the strong gale which will sweep over the Bay of Biscay this Thursday night. The skipper from Nice will set off again on Saturday or Sunday from the cove of San Ciprián* towards Les Sables d'Olonne for a crossing of the Bay of Biscay in a medium wind in an attempt to cross the finishing line of the Vendée Globe.

Jean-Pierre sent an e-mail to his team at 21:00:


There's a lot of wind on the way to Les Sables d'Olonne! The models predict a violent front on Thursday night. I still remember when I capsized in the English Transatlantic Race in 2004. I sailed with the mainsail lowered and the staysail as my only means of propulsion. My monohull (Virbac-Paprec 1) was rolled around and it was a bit like being in a washing machine, much to my alarm and distress!

Just one second and this villainous wave reduced my desires for victory to nothing and left me, back then, aiming at a not fully established selection for my Vendée Globe. The sea was much stronger, but it saved my life...

This is one of the arguments today that is driving me to stop, but not to give up. An anchorage or mooring is waiting for me on the Spanish coast, hoping that is will be more welcoming than Cape Finisterre during the night. I want really to go home and see my loved ones again.

I will probably need to stay nearly 3 days at anchor! Doing small DIY jobs, reading, eating the horrible remains of the freeze-dried food on board, and perhaps swimming... It will cost this to finish the Vendée Globe, but it will be a great joy to cross that confounded finishing line!

This Vendée Globe will have been unusual to the very end. I wanted the race and I got the adventure. I wanted the yellow jersey and I got the polka dot jersey of the best climber. I wanted the pleasure of easy surfing and I got the fairly stressful work of tightrope walking! To its credit, this race does forge your character and it forces you remain humble at all times...

Thank you for your messages of support, they are doing wonders for me.


* San Ciprián is a cove protected from the north-easterly and south-easterly winds. It is located on the north coast of Spain, 70 miles east of Coruna.