Jean-Pierre Dick and Damian Foxall crossed the finishing line of the Barcelona World Race at 21:49:49 (French time GMT+1). At an average speed of 11.3 knots, the French-Irish duo took 92 days, 8 hours, 49 minutes and 49 seconds, to race the 28,329 miles (52,465 km) of this first Barcelona World Race.
The Paprec-Virbac 2 60 foot monohull led the race for 67 consecutive days. Today, this Farr design, signs its first victory, for its first time in a race, and only 8 months after its creation (editor’s note: launched on 2 February 2007 in New Zealand)!
The Dick-Foxall duo was able to steer the 18.28 metres of carbon two-handed, dressed in the colours of their loyal supporters: Paprec and Virbac, who were very proud to salute the performance of the two skippers this evening.
Three important stages can be distinguished in this two-handed race. The first corresponds to the run down the Atlantic, marked by a duel between Paprec-Virbac 2 and PRB. The second took place between the Cape of Good Hope and Wellington with Veolia Environnement and Hugo Boss, chasing them. Lastly, was the third stage of this round-the-world, during which Paprec-Virbac 2 practically went it alone.
Interview with Jean-Pierre Dick:
How do you feel after this victory?
“It is an immense pleasure with deep feeling today, crossing the finishing line of the Barcelona World Race. Crossing the finishing line and this victory symbolize more than a year’s work. My last moments racing were fantastic. The boat that surfed gently in the Mediterranean, my favourite sea, and then my friends, family, the people I care about, and my sponsors who were waiting to live this moment with me. Nothing but pleasure! Nothing but joy! Damian and I are very happy to be here, to leave the imprint of our names on this 1st Barcelona World Race.
It was a strange day, how did it feel to you and Damian? Did you communicate your feelings?
“A large part of our joy is private and the other part we talked about. Damian came on board the project and, since we didn’t sail straight away, he got down to work, but not necessarily as a sailor. We exchanged our thoughts on what had not been done so well. Our joy is even greater, in that these last few days were difficult as we sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar in 40 knot head winds. And our food was reduced! You could hear our stomachs rumbling!”
Was the lack of supplies due to poor anticipation of the length of the race or a desire to reduce the weight onboard?
“A little of both. It was rather short, because we wanted to reduce as much weight as possible! We brought 84 days of supplies on board with us in order to optimise weight. We made no concessions even when it came to food. We have reached the limit. However, you need to be careful, because not eating can be the cause of shortcomings (vigilance, aggressiveness, etc.). That can be a problem! It’s good to have finished today!”
How did living with Damian go in restricted living space?
“There were inevitably moments of tension, but they quickly died out. Damian and I have a very similar vision of things on board, taking risks, ocean racing, and analysing weather conditions, etc. There was background cohesion. The points on which we could have been in disagreement were communication, a sentence badly taken, but it stops there. Our living together went really well, hence the result!
It’s not easy to live in limited space. We have very little privacy. Everything must be shared. We have to leave certain things aside. This remains very unimportant in relation to all the things that unite us and, particularly in this type of race, the result that unites us. The final goal is to win the race, which means that performance is key. That helps to settle any differences. It’s fantastic, it’s not common. It requires determination and a desire to win. That’s what makes the difference in the end!”
What were the most important moments in this Barcelona World Race?
“Actually, there were three important stages in the round-the-world:
1) The whole run down the Atlantic was a very close fight with PRB in which we took pleasure in jostling for first place! When Vincent’s mast broke, we were 17 miles from each other, and we’d just passed him in the night.
2) Then another stage of the course started with Veolia Environnement and Hugo Boss who were already about a hundred miles away from us. We were, nonetheless, being chased. It was quite stressful for us, because the weather conditions might have enabled them to make a come back. We had to manage our lead in relation to that. We took risks by sailing quite far south, because it looked as though it was the best route possible, but it was through the icebergs.
3) Following Hugo Boss’ stop, we made ourselves scarce with an 800 mile lead, reaching 1,000 miles at Cape Horn. It was a long-term race requiring managing the equipment. Nevertheless, Damian and I never let go. We were always making the best of what our boat could do. Even though we were a little more careful, we always changed the sails when they had to be changed and we were always pushing the “beast” to make headway with Paprec-Virbac 2.
Roland Jourdain: “I’m really delighted for them! Jean-Luc and I would have liked to fight to the end to finish at their side, but the race decided otherwise. Jean-Pierre and Damian have really done great work. Nothing more can be said! I hope that they will enjoy all the best parts of this fine finish in Barcelona and again, well done for this victory!’’
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