Jean-Pierre Dick continues to head for Vendée Globe finish despite losing keel


In a remarkable display of tenacity and seamanship French solo sailor Jean-Pierre Dick is continuing to head for the finish of the Vendée Globe round the world race despite having lost his keel.

First reaction was to head for safety in the Azores, but Dick, who very much wants to finish what will likely be his last attempt at non-stop solo round the world racing, is taking the last 1,500 miles hour by hour. He has filled his water ballast tanks and is sailing very conservatively in relatively benign conditions. If the weather were to deteriorate he would have to seek safety.

Britain’s Alex Thomson had passed him to take third place overnight but had also altered course in case he was asked to go to the aid of Dick as both are experiencing stronger

 in front is François Gabart, who is expected to finish the final 500 miles to Les Sables d’Olonne by Sunday morning and knock about a week off the previous record set by Michel Desjoyeaux.

In second by over 100 miles is Armel le Cléac’h, who will also easily beat the record, assuming there are none of the last-minute calamities which can be a feature of this race.Struggling to climb to fifth is Mike Golding, who has seen French rival Jean le Cam stretchhis advantage back to 60 miles over the second English competitor, who has 3,000 miles still to run.