Once leader of the Vendee Globe race, French Jean-Pierre Dick had to withdraw from the round-the-world yachting challenge after a collision that damaged his boat. He is the 14th to abandon the tough race.
AFP - Former race leader Jean-Pierre Dick was forced to retire from the challenging Vendee Globe round-the-world yachting race on Wednesday after his rudder was damaged beyond repair.
Dick, who led the race on four occasions with the last time being on December 10 when Englishman Mike Golding was forced out, had to give up the ghost when his yacht Paprec-Virbac hit an unidentified object at 1300GMT which caused irreparable damage to the rudder.
Dick, who was sixth in the last edition of the race, had previously suffered damage to his rudder prior to rounding Cape Horn but was able to sail into calmer waters and fix the damage.
Dick, who has earned the nickname 'McGyver' after an all action US television character, is believed to be at least 2000 nautical miles away from New Zealand and 1800 nautical miles from French Polynesia.
He is the 14th of the 30-boat flotilla to retire from the race since it set out from the western French port of Les Sables d'Olonne on November 9 heading down to the Cape of Good Hope before crossing the Indian and Southern Oceans south of Australia.
Dick's compatriot Michel Desjoyeaux leads the race by 73 nautical miles ahead of another Frenchman Roland Jourdain with 8,739.6 miles to go till the finish.
Race standings as of 1900 GMT
1. Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA/Foncia) 8,739.6 nautical miles from finish line
2. Roland Jourdain (FRA/Veolia Environnement) at 73 nautical miles
3. Jean Le Cam (FRA/VM Materiaux) 411.4
4. Armel Le Cléac'h (FRA/Brit Air) 626.0
5. Vincent Riou (FRA/PRB) 670.2
6. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA/Paprec-Virbac) 1,592.1
7. Samantha Davies (GBR/Roxy) 1,861.1
8. Marc Guillemot (FRA/Safran) 2,149.9
9. Brian Thompson (GBR/Bahrein Team Pindar) 2,422.5
10. Dee Caffari (GBR/Aviva) 2,581.5
Date created : 2008-12-31