Jean-Pierre Dick retires from Vendee Globe

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The Independent Online

Already struggling with imperfect repairs, Jean-Pierre Dick was knocked out of the Vendee Globe solo round the world race today when collision with an unknown object ripped away the port rudder of his Paprec-Virbac.

"The race is over for me," said Dick, who had been lying seventh despite earlier repairs to a damaged starboard rudder. He was lying seventh at the time and his abandonment means that half of the orginal 30 starters from Les Sables d'Olonne on 9 November are now out.

"I was sleeping and heard a big bang, a loud noise," he said. "I hit a UFO, probably a growler (iceberg fragment). Sailing with one rudder would be dangerous."

That means that the top foreign competitor, Britain's Sam Davies, moves up to a top six slot. Brian Thompson is eighth and Dee Caffari ninth. But Caffari was also reporting problems yesterday as she was hoping to repair her mainsail. She said that she was waiting for better weather, but that previous patches were falling off and that the sail was "falling apart."

With less than 8,000 miles to the finish and just days until exiting the southern ocean when he rounds Cape Horn for the climb back up the Atlantic, Michel Dejoyeaux is still in a lead he has held for over two weeks and is 150 miles ahead of second-placed Roland Jourdain.