16 February 2011 - Par admin - Tags : Sponsorship

Virbac Paprec 3 forced to make a pit stop in Wellington

Today, Tuesday 15 February at 8.05 pm (ECT), Jean-Pierre Dick called Denis Horeau, Race Director of the Barcelona World Race, to let him know that he would be making a “pit stop” in Wellington.

An hour earlier, as Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron maneuvered to raise the main sail, they broke two latte carts. One cart had already broken in the Atlantic (just after the pit stop in Recife) and all the spare carts aboard Virbac-Paprec 3 were already in use. Without these parts, which hook the main sail to the mast, it’s impossible to sail the ship.

That’s why the two sailors decided they had to stop. With this unplanned stop, the Virbac-Paprec 3 technical team will not get to New Zealand on time. Luc Talbourdet, the project director, was on site to see the boat as it sailed near the coast and decided to ask Luc Bartissol to help out. He is the former technical director of the team (he built Paprec-Virbac 2) and lives in New Zealand. The local network of suppliers who worked on the construction of Virbac-Paprec 3 will also provide their precious help.

On top of the replacement of the latte carts, this pit stop will allow the sailors to repair other parts. Once they have moored, the boat must stay in the harbor for at least 48 hours to comply with race regulations.

VIRBAC PAPREC 3 arrived in Wellington Wednesday at mid-day (ECT).

“We replaced the two broken parts by the end of the afternoon. We didn’t have any more spares to finish the race and we weren’t sure about the existing carts. This was a sword dangling over our heads since it’s essential to have these parts for the second half of this round-the-world race. Without them, we can’t sail. Continuing without any spares would have been an unreasonable risk. The pit stop was the best option even if it was a hard decision to make since we take a 48-hour penalty. We have to start out again at about the same level as our opponents. A new race is underway, just like after our stop in Recife. But, we’ll keep fighting till the end”, declared Jean-Pierre Dick.

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