Jean-Pierre Dick says his dream of a podium finish 'suddenly sunk'

At 23.45hrs UTC, while sailing in the third position of the Vendée Globe, about 550 miles northwest of the Cape Verde islands, Jean-Pierre Dick called his team to inform them that his boat, Virbac-Paprec 3, had lost its whole keel at 23.hrs UTC.

The skipper from Nice is ok and has stabilised the situation. The boat has full ballasts and Jean-Pierre Dick is sailing at eight knots towards northwest.

He told the race office by satellite phone: ‘I was sailing on starboard tack under mainsail with one reef and the solent (sail), in 20 knots of wind.

‘I was inside when the wind increased suddenly. I went out to adjust the sails. At that moment, I heard a loud bang.

‘Virbac-Paprec 3 went to the luff and was pushed on its side. I eased the mainsail sheet and solent sheet. I furled it (the solent).

‘I went to the end of the boom and eased the running backstay. I went downwind smoothly and the boat slowly went back into the right position. I filled all the ballasts to stabilise the boat.

‘I am heading to the northwest at 8 knots with two reefs in the mainsail and with a staysail.

‘The situation is stabilised and I think that there is no risk of capsizing. My dream of a podium finish in the Vendée Globe has suddenly sunk.’