Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Barcelona World Race: Barcelona World Race entries Virbac-Paprec 3 and Foncia launched after arrival by ship from Caribbean

* Nearly half the Barcelona World Race fleet now in Barcelona.

* Work starts for the Virbac-Paprec 3 and Foncia shore teams.

* Barcelona World Race title holder Jean-Pierre Dick goes on a sailing holiday to relax pre-start!

Foncia and Virbac-Paprec 3 arrive in Barcelona, © Manuel Medir / Barcelona World Race

by Isabel Genís

At a little after 1000hrs (CET) on an uncharacteristically damp and cold Barcelona morning the cargo ship Olivia offloaded her precious cargo, the duo of IMOCA Open 60’s Foncia and Virbac Paprec 3, on schedule without a hitch.

This morning’s arrival of Jean-Pierre Dick’s Virbac-Paprec 3 and Michel Desjoyeaux’s Foncia directly from Martinique by ship brings the complement of IMOCA Open 60’s in Barcelona to seven.

That means almost half of the 15 boat fleet, which will take to the start line on 31st December for the Barcelona World Race, are making final preparations in the start city, and despite the chill, damp weather the atmosphere is definitely building.

Virbac-Paprec 3 and Foncia’s 10 day transatlantic delivery directly from the recent Route du Rhum solo transatlantic race saw them transferred immediately to the FNOB’s offshore sailing base where they will undergo various levels of work against a tight deadline to be ready for the two pairs of co-skippers, Dick and Loïck Peyron and Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabbart to be sailing as soon as possible.

“We have a few little modifications to do, nothing very big, just little changes to make.” Summarised Foncia’s Boat Captain Marc Liardet today, “But our key objective now is to have the boat sailing so that Michel and Francois can go sailing as soon as possible.”

Foncia’s objective is to be ready for the co-skippers to be sailing by 10th December

Foncia and Virbac-Paprec 3 arrive in Barcelona, © Miquel Casanelles / Barcelona World Race

Virbac-Paprec 3’s project manager Romain Ménard explained:

“There is no big refit considering the lack of time we have. Everything is fine. We will do some ultrasound inspections and we will change some sails because they have done quite a lot of miles, we change some of the standing rigging.”

Of the electrical problem which compromised some of Dick’s race he confirmed:
“ Actually we identified that there was some leaking which was letting some water into the battery box: and water electrical stuff is not good! What we have identified is that we need to keep it dry. We are not going to change the system at all. We sailed the boat from New Zealand for eight weeks to France. We were very happy with the system so there is no reason to change everything now. We won’t waste the work we have done or the advantages it gives.”

“For sure the Route du Rhum has been a very good training session for the Barcelona World Race, it was very important for us to do it as we prepare our title defence, for the battery for one thing, and also getting two weeks solid offshore is invaluable where you can improve.”

Dick, who won the first edition of the Barcelona World Race and recently finished fourth in the Route du Rhum, went straight from the finish in Guadeloupe to enjoy some recovery time prior to the start of the round the world race. The Barcelona Race race champion’s choice of holiday break? Seemingly he can’t keep away from the water and had been cruising in the Caribbean.

Barcelona World Race