Virbac, skippered by Jean-Pierre Dick, has dismasted, not far from the Cape Verde Island during The Défi Atlantique

Virbac, the new Farr 60, skippered by Jean-Pierre Dick, has dismasted, not far from the Cape Verde Island during The Défi Atlantique. At 0200hrs GMT the race HQ was alerted to something abnormal happening to the boat as Virbac (pictured left) had been going along at more than 10 knots boat speed for several hours and then suddenly stopped to less than 3 knots boat speed.

The race director immediately tried to reach Jean-Pierre on the boat, but communication was not possible. The confirmation came very soon after from Jean-Pierre’s shore team that he had dismasted, and they had been in touch with their skipper to acknowledge his status.

No further news is known, nor in what conditions the boat was in at the time. At the time, though, Jean-Pierre had left his westerly option and was heading north-east trying to reach the leading boats. During yesterday’s sat phone chat, Jean-Pierre Dick said: “I want more than anything to finish the Défi Atlantique, but if I can get onto the podium too it would be a real bonus.”

Meanwhile at the front of the fleet Mike Golding has lost his lead to Vincent Riou but the margin at just 30 miles apart is still fairly close. Alex Thomson who suffered with lack of boatspo

More news when we have it.

1 Vincent RIOU N245876 W0282348, 1848.6 distance to finish

2 Mike GOLDING N235980 W0275050, 1879.96 distance to finish

3 Sébastien JOSSE N225712 W0275980, 1937.06 distance to finish

4 Nick MOLONEY N222236 W0280136, 1967.06 distance to finish

5 Alex THOMSON N255888 W0334648 1987.06 distance to finish

6 Jean Pierre DICK N212644 W0303588, 2092.36 distance to finish

7 Joe SEETEN N202072 W0295048 275.56 distance to finish

8 Benoît LEQUIN N190364 W0290364, 2167.36 distance to finish

9 Benoît PARNAUDEAU N171996 W0311220, 470 2318.66 distance to finish

10 Anne LIARDET N152004 W0312572, 580.1 2428.76 distance to finish