Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Barcelona World Race

Jeanne-Pierre Dick, skipper of 'Virbac Paprec 3’

Iker Martinez, skipper of ‘Mapfre’

When I last looked at the website for the Barcelona World Race, Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron racing ‘Virbac Paprec 3’ were in the lead; they were about 60 miles ahead of Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez in ‘Mapfre’.

‘Virbac Paprec 3’

‘Virbac-Paprec’ is a VPLP high-tech Ocean racing yacht designed by Guillaume Verdier, built in New Zealand. Innovative ideas incorporated into her include a twin coach roof which is comprised of two domed Plexiglass operation stations giving excellent all-round visibility. Minimal rigging with only one backstay and two sets of spreaders reduces weight aloft and minimizes drag when going to windward. Small advantages in terms of lightness, less wetted area, less air drag, all add up to make big differences over long distances. Such innovations could account for ‘Vibac-Paprec’s’ marginal lead over ‘Mapre’, but Dick and Peyron comprise a formidable team difficult to beat.


The Spaniards’ Farr designed IMOCA yacht, ‘Mapfre’, is older in concept. Built in 2007 she was skippered by Michel Desjoyeaux when he won the Vendée Globe Race in 2008; therefore she is a proven boat. She also participated in the 2009 Istanbul Europa Race. She’s a good all-round yacht capable of performing well in a variety of sea conditions - not just downwind. These features could help immensely when proceeding northwards in the Southern Atlantic.

Just now the leaders are heading towards Cape Horn and they have a substantial one thousand three hundred or so miles lead over those behind. It’s like a two-horse race, but things could dramatically change after they round the Horn when they may encounter light winds, which would allow the others to reduce the gap.


Barcelona World Race



‘Verbac Paprec’ Team


‘Mapfre’ Team






VPLP Yacht Design


Jean Pierre Dick


Barcelona World Race: Feb 8 - Virbac Paprec 3 Water and Wind


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