Jean-Pierre Dick announces his Europa Race crew
One month out from the start of the IMOCA 60's European Pro Tour, Jean-Pierre Dick has announced the crew he will be taking with him aboard Virbac Paprec 3, on the first leg from Barcelona to Cascais starting on 19 May. The second, from Cascais to La Rochelle, will be singlehanded enabling competitors to practice for the Vendée Globe.
On board the light blue VPLP-Verdier design Dick will be taking Roland Jourdain, a veteran of three Vendee Globe's who's sponsorship for his MOD70 campaign with Veolia Environnement came to an end suddenly earlier this spring. Also on board will be leading French shorthanded offshore racing coach Tanguy Leglatin, plus two members of Dick's Virbac-Paprec team - boat captain Jean-Yves Gau and Guillaume Le Brec.
“It's an interesting and technical course in the Mediterranean, which requires anticipation before passing the islands," says Dick of the course. "The passage through the Strait of Gibraltar and the start in Barcelona bring back many memories of the Barcelona World Race! I am glad to be returning. As for Portugal, I have travelled there, but I haven't yet discovered the port of Cascais by boat. There's a Virbac subsidiary over there, so I am glad to have an opportunity to allow the Portuguese employees to discover Virbac-Paprec 3.”
As to the singlehanded second leg, Dick says: "It is interesting because this is the only single-handed race before the Vendée Globe. It will be a real-life test and an addition to our training sessions. The goal is to sail as much as possible to prepare for the Vendée Globe. The 2,500 miles (approx. 4,630 km) between Cascais and la Rochelle via the Azores and Fastnet Rock will help me put the finishing touches to my preparation.”
The European Pro Tour starts from Barcelona on 19 May 2012 and is expected into Cascais on 23 May. Leg two will start on 26 May and the course will take the boats around the Azores, to the Fastnet rock before finishing in La Rochelle, a distance of around 2,520 miles.