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A Magical Moment
Breaking the finish line this Monday morning
at 10hrs 20mins 36 seconds (UTC)
Jean-Pierre Dick (45) and Loïck
Peyron (51) have won the second edition
of the Barcelona World Race on
completing the 25,200 miles round the world race
in 93 days, 22 hours, 20 minutes and 36 seconds
at an average speed of 11.18 knots.
For Jean-Pierre Dick the
victory repeats his 2007-08 triumph in the inaugural edition of the
round the world race for crews of two, when he won with Irish
co-skipper Damian Foxall. Today’s win also adds an
elusive round the world victory to Peyron’s two previous podium
finishes, each ten years apart – second in 1989-90 in the inaugural
Vendée Globe solo round the world race, and second in The Race in
2000, for fully crewed giant multihulls.
On arrival at the dock in Barcelona
Jean-Pierre Dick described his feelings on winning
a second consecutive Barcelona World Race: “A
lot of emotions, quite indescribable, I am so happy to be here. I
had my objective and today it has been satisfied. It is magical the
way we won it together. Thanks Loïck for doing this race with me and
putting up with me, magical to live three months among nature around
the world, living our passion, and technologically it’s quite
special. Thank-you and thank-you Barcelona for this race, it is
ideal. Double handed around the world is fantastic. Thank-you also
to my sponsors, I am very proud to have these people with me.”
The French duo highlighted their drive and
pace when they set a new 24-hour speed record for IMOCA Open
60-footers of 506.33 miles on January 22nd (average speed
Without doubt the success of their proven
partnership amounts to more than the sum of its parts, even given
Peyron’s 30 years of ocean racing successes and Dick’s incredible
durability, his appetite for short handed and solo racing, his
meticulous, scientific approach and delivery, and his remarkable
trajectory towards the top of this exacting and demanding sailing
Their partnership has never been beaten on the
oceans, winning the Transat Jacques Vabre together in 2005 when Dick
defended the title he won with Nicolas Abiven.
Dick, previously a full time business director who only really
turned ‘professional’ in 2002, has joined the elite ranks of
Michel Desjoyeaux and Bernard Stamm as the
only skippers to have won two solo or two-handed round the world
Their winning course displays all the polished
hallmarks of a near perfect execution. Their meteo and navigation
strategy in each sea and each ocean, around the classic course,
which takes in the three great Capes – Cape of Good Hope,
Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn but
which, uniquely for the genre, climbs from the south Pacific through
the Cook Strait before descending just as quickly
back to the hostile ocean – has been almost faultless.
The raw speed of Dick’s newest generation VPLP/designed
IMOCA Open 60, launched in May last year in Auckland
and with which he plans to challenge for the 2012 Vendée Globe, is
now proven. As is the duo’s skill to sail it at the limit for long
periods when pressed, but so too is their ability to sail
defensively, maintaining high averages to preserve themselves and
the boat in more extreme conditions.
Such attributes are underpinned by both
skippers sharing the same bitter experience of retiring from the
2008-09 Vendée Globe with damage, both leading at different stages.
Peyron spent more time in the lead than anyone before his mast
broke, and Dick led in the Indian Ocean before
sustaining rudder damage.
Though they made two technical stops for
repairs, amounting to a time-out total of 63 hours in Brazil
and Wellington, New Zealand, the
Virbac-Paprec 3 pair stayed the course to fulfil their
ranking as one of the pre-race favourites. Of the 14 IMOCA Open 60s
which started off Barcelona on 31st
December, four of which were otherwise considered potential winners
or podium contenders, Président,
Foncia, Groupe Bel and
Mirabuad all retired with mast or keel
Dick and Peyron led the race out through the
Straits of Gibraltar on January 3rd and
after re-taking the lead on January 23rd were never
passed. The thrilling duel with Michel Desjoyeaux
and Francois Gabart, which forced the red line
higher and higher, came to an end when Foncia
broke their topmast early on the morning of 25th
But Spain’s double Olympic 49er medallists
Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez
in their first ever IMOCA Open 60 race as a duo had been second
since Foncia withdrew. From
Virbac-Paprec 3’s largest lead of 781 miles over
MAPFRE on February 7, the Spanish pair
pressed the leaders relentlessly, getting to within 8.3 miles of
Dick and Peyron in the Pacific on 25th February. But,
with a beautifully precise 30-mile hitch to the east to set up early
in the South Atlantic high pressure system, the winners avoided the
very worst of the light winds and made the better passage of the
Though their difficult return through the
Doldrums was as long, slow and challenging as
either Dick or Peyron could recall over their careers,
Virbac-Paprec 3 emerged with an advantage to build on
over a final 16-day marathon upwind slog to lead back into
Quotes from the winning skippers:
Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA): “This
round the world race has been a mixture of lots of little things. We
already knew each other and it was the joint experience of both of
us skippers as individuals which was key to winning.
“We have a really good team, mutual
understanding and great respect. We have known each other for a long
time and it is for me a huge privilege to have been able to sail
around the world with Loïck. A wonderful experience. We both wanted
to win of course and our cohesion was focused on this victory.”
Asked if he would consider a third race:
“I love Barcelona but I want to celebrate this first and then we
will see. The Barcelona World Race is a magical race, it is a
wonderful concept: double handed, with sunsets, whales, albatross –
to be able to share this natural experience when you are passionate
about the sea and can live this passion it is amazing.
Asked what made the difference for them:
“A new boat, and in New Zealand the chance to make it more secure,
to give us that extra reassurance. It is a very good boat, it
performs really well and is latest generation. It was all very
well-timed and that is an important part of our success.
“It is a great moment for me after three
years of not winning; it was quite frustrating having to abandon the
Vendée Globe when ahead, and then there was a year and a half wait
whilst the boat was being built. To be successful and have fulfilled
my objective iswonderful.
“There are a number of different images
that will stay with me from the race. Cape Horn in particular, I
have never been that close to it and we could really experience it
directly being so close to land. Patagonia is magical – that is my
most special moment.”
Loïck Peyron (FRA):
“It has been exceptional. My third round
the world race. The first time was solo, the second with a team and
this third time double-handed. And we have won – we led the race in
spite of some tough competition. It was a fantastic experience and
it is a fabulous feeling to finish and finish so well.
“Success comes from true cohesion – and we
are both complementary. The savoir-faire of the solo sailing world
means you really trust the other person. Success is also about
having a good machine at your feet. We made a mistake last night –
it was probably us relaxing a little before the arrival, but we did
a good job.
“My most important memories are of the
albatross – they are quite unique in the world and that part of the
planet and we were lucky enough to see them.
“It has been a real example of teamwork by
the ‘family’. It is a beautiful example of unity and I am delighted
to have had the chance to experience it.
“It is magical to be in Barcelona again.
The last time was with The Race and it is wonderful to be back again
and this time with another beautiful story.”
taking the southerly option and finding more wind pressure on the
Moroccan coast Virbac-Paprec 3 leads out
of Gibraltar Straits, 3 days, 7 hours and 55
minutes after the start on 31st December in
Barcelona (6 hours faster than 2007-8 edition when Dick and
Foxall also led)
lead passing Madeira, Virbac-Paprec 3
after five days in front drop to second after small tactical error,
with a compact top group including Président,
Groupe Bel, and Neutrogena.
January 10th in
strong downwind trade conditions speeds peak at 25kts, in a
relentless driving pace and on January 11th Jean
Le Cam and Bruno Garcia retire after
breaking mast north of Cape Verdes.
On January 13th
2.5 m of mainsail traveller track rips away requiring technical stop
in Recife, Brasil.
Foncia also stop after damage to their crash box and
an almost surreal F1 style pit-stop ensues. The two IMOCA Open 60s,
which have been locked together since traversing the Atlantic from
Martinique on the same ship after the Route du Rhum, and refitted in
the same shed in Barcelona, now pit-stop in the
same Brazilian dock. The rival crews even briefly end up sharing the
same apartment! Virbac-Paprec 3’s total
time stopped is 15 hours and they resume the course with a deficit
of 277 miles.
are first to go into ghost mode as both the Recife twins choose
long-term investment to the west, down the Brazilian coast which
initially sacrifices miles to those on the more direct routing
through the St Helena High, but the gains come with
high speeds in strong winds. Virbac-Paprec 3
sets a new 24-hour world speed record for 60-footers at 506.33
miles, bettering the 2007-8 record set during the Barcelona
World Race by Alex Thomson and
Andrew Cape at 501.9 miles on Hugo Boss.
and Peyron retake the lead and first round Cape of Good Hope.
Early on the morning of 26th January the near-twins are
finally parted when Foncia breaks their
mast. Virbac-Paprec 3 lead
MAPFRE by nearly 580 miles.
3 makes the minimum 48-hour stop in Wellington
to repair batten cars, returning with their lead shrunk to 128 miles
3’s lead is just 8.3 miles over MAPFRE.
3’s exciting passage of Cape Horn 140
miles ahead of MAPFRE.
stop briefly to sort out twisted halyards at entrance to
Beagle Channel. Martinez and Fernandez lose about 80 miles.
Saint Helena High strategy sees a huge accordion
effect but Virbac-Paprec 3 accelerate away
to lead of 545 miles over MAPFRE.
compression to 111 miles as the Doldrums move north with Dick and
Peyron but on long beat to Gibraltar, Dick and
Peyron lead at the longitude of Tarifa.
3 lead by about 30 hours at 0135hrs (UTC)
April 4th Virbac-Paprec
3cross the finish line at 1020hrs (UTC) winning the
Barcelona World Race after 93 days, 22 hours, 20 minutes and 36
seconds of racing.
- Course record 2007-08 92 days 9 hours and
- Theoretical course is 520 miles longer in
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