Jean-Pierre Dick whose yacht Virbac dismasted yesterday morning is continuing to race under jury rig

Jean-Pierre Dick whose yacht Virbac dismasted yesterday morning ( see news story here ) while competing in the Défi Atlantique is continuing to race.

Interestingly however, the mast came down with no sails up. Having had a problem with the core of the mainsheet slipping, and not being able to sheet in, Dick (pictured left before the dismasting) decided to lower the sails. Immediately afterwards the mast came tumbling down, breaking in to three or four pieces and causing damage to stanchions and the guardrail. Commenting on the situation Dick said: “I don’t understand what happened. It’s the first time I’ve seen a boat dismast with no sails up… I was totally stunned by the shock. I said to myself as I saw the mast falling: “this is not happening, I must be dreaming!” ‘ Apparently the cause of the dismasting was gear failure. The deck fitting for the Port D1 shroud broke off (shroud to leeward going diagonally from the port side hull to the first spreader of the mast).

Dick will now continue to race towards the La Rochelle finish line using a jury rig made up from the 9m boom. But according to the Sailing Instructions, Dick must arrive in less than 10 days after the first Open 60 finishes in La Rochelle to be ranked and therefore qualified for the Vendée Globe.

Elsewhere in the fleet 31 year-old Frenchman Vincent Riou is still leading the fleet by 53 miles from Mike Golding on Ecover. Alex Thomson has had an amazing 24 hours pulling up from sixth place to third and is now just 72 miles behind the leader.

Latest positions

1 Vincent RIOU N284020 W0272548, 1641.9 distance to finish

2 Mike GOLDING N271095 W0265477, 1694.9 distance to finish

3 Alex THOMSON N295820 W0310132, 1714.1 distance to finish

4 Sébastien JOSSE N260700 W0275184, 1776.6 distance to finish

5 Nick MOLONEY N252732 W0270100, 1782.2 distance to finish

6 Joe SEETEN N230984 W0283832, 1945.8 distance to finish

7 Benoît LEQUIN N212704 W0284456, 2035.2 distance to finish

8 Jean Pierre DICK N212504 W0303716, 2094.1 distance to finish

9 Benoît PARNAUDEAU N195464 W0302548, 2163.7 distance to finish

10 Anne LIARDET N180284 W0311708, 2284.4 distance to finish