Jean-Pierre Dick returns to IMOCA

After the MOD circuit fails to deliver

Tuesday April 1st 2014, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

After a season in the MOD70 trimaran class, Jean-Pierre Dick and his sponsors have decided to return to monohull racing. Official Sponsor since 2005, the StMichel biscuits brand has become the Principal Sponsor of the project, together with Virbac, the specialists in animal health.

StMichel-Virbac will be the name of Dick's new boat, which will be designed by Verdier-VPLP. StMichel-Virbac will race in the Ocean Masters World Championships from 2015 to 2017, the highlight of which will be the Vendée Globe 2016.

Why return to the IMOCA monohull after racing with multihulls?

Jean-Pierre Dick: “In 2011, Paprec, Virbac and I decided to purchase a MOD70 for several reasons. This was warranted, notably, by the promise of an international circuit with a round-the-word with stopovers, of interest to Virbac and their 30 international subsidiaries. Unfortunately, since we joined the MOD70 fleet, this circuit has not materialised. Our expectations were not fully met and neither were those of our sponsors.”

How did you handle the transition?
JP: “We have been lucky in having several sponsors and they all want to continue! In this transition, we will keep the trimaran in the team, thanks to Paprec's support, who will be its Principal Sponsor. I would like to thank Jean-Luc Petithuguenin for his support through this difficult situation. We have experienced success (five major wins in 10 years on the IMOCA circuit) and some tough times (loss of the keel during the Vendée Globe and capsizing the MOD70). This is part of the life of a project. We have become really close.”

What did you decide then?
JP: “We decided then to launch a new IMOCA monohull project, StMichel-Virbac, since the races are guaranteed. We are going to take part in the Ocean Masters World Championship from 2015 to 2017, with as its highlight, the Vendée Globe 2016-2017. I hope this will be a perfect wave. The Vendée Globe is my holy grail!”

JP: “This will be my 4th Vendée Globe. Each time, we build a new boat, because a team’s identity is based on designing and developing prototypes. We are going to work with Guillaume Verdier and VPLP on this new project. It will be the fruit of my 13 years of experience in IMOCA. It is a real pleasure to open this new chapter.”

Can you tell us more about StMichel?
JP: “I am really glad that StMichel has given its name to the new boat together with Virbac. This well-known biscuit brand has been a sponsor of the project since 2005. They are keen on sailing and its values, as well as the extraordinary adventure of the Vendée Globe. I am proud to fly the colours of StMichel and its 1,200 workers. I would also like to thank Virbac and Paprec for their continuing support, which is unique in our sport.

Vincent Chevallier-Chantepie, StMichel sales manager commented: “We have been sponsoring Jean-Pierre Dick since 2005, and over these last nine years the whole company has got involved, building up a strong relationship with him and sharing many common values, while enjoying the thrill of his achievements. As an anecdote, remember that for 2000 years biscuits have always been taken on board by sailors, and we intend to continue this tradition.”

Sandrine Brunel, Virbac Group's communications manager: “Jean-Pierre is a qualified veterinary surgeon. He embodies this profession, its culture and Virbac's values perfectly. We have stayed with JP since the start, in 2001. Over the years we have created a strong relationship between vets and JP. We would like to strengthen this by continuing our commitment.”

Programme for StMichel-Virbac

- Autumn 2014: Construction of StMichel-Virbac starts
- Summer 2015: Launch of StMichel-Virbac
- November 2015: Double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre
- December 2015: Transatlantic return single-handed
- June 2016: The Transat single-handed
- November 2016: Vendée Globe
- August 2017: Double-handed Rolex Fastnet Race
- November 2017: Double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre

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