Paprec-Virbac 2 is expected in Barcelona tomorrow at the end of the day. Victory in this round-the-world is getting closer but Jean-Pierre Dick does not want crow over this ahead of time. During official radio contact, Jean-Pierre Dick, the Paprec-Virbac 2 skipper, revealed, 24 hours before his arrival in Barcelona, that they almost dismasted on 17th January. When they were leading the Barcelona World Race off the coast of Brazil, Jean-Pierre and Damian Foxall heard a great noise coming from the deck. The solent forestay, holding the mast in place, had broken.
Jean-Pierre Dick tells the story:
“We had a major problem around Cabo Frio off the Brazilian coast. This went unnoticed since we managed to handle it. Our solent forestay (the main cable holding the mast in place) broke. It was the furling drum which had suddenly broke in its lower section. Luckily the mast did not fall. We were lucky because the staysail forestay was in place. There was a great crash. The solent forestay was banging about on the foredeck, making holes in the sail. The furling drum was flying around like a mad projectile above the deck in a 30 knot wind. It was very dangerous!
It was nerve-racking because we came close to a catastrophe. When I saw the damage, I thought that the race was over for us. At the time, we were well ahead with several hundred miles lead on Hugo Boss. We had the right reflexes, as well as some luck.
We decided to keep quiet about it so as not to encourage to Hugo Boss. We were really worried as we sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar, given the weather conditions. So, while the finishing line is not crossed yet, things can still happen. Luckily, the wind is going to die down and that should do the trick!”.
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