The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has selected Jean-Pierre Dick (Nice, France) to receive the Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship for his completion of the Vendée Globe 2012-2013 after sailing without a keel for the last 2,650 miles of the solo non-stop around-the-world race. The trophy is given “for an act of seamanship that significantly contributes to the safety of a yacht or one or more individuals at sea.” The award will be presented on May 21, 2014 at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan.
Dick, a qualified veterinary surgeon with a master’s degree in business, spent many years as a business executive before devoting his life to ocean racing. His accomplishments include four circumnavigations and five transatlantic crossings.
In the Vendee Globe 2008-2009 Dick had to retire to New Zealand after suffering rudder damage due to an unidentified floating object.
In 2013, Dick was racing in his third Vendee Globe aboard the IMOCA 60 Virbac-Paprec3. Going into the final stretch of the race Dick was in the running for third place, but on January 21st about 500 miles northwest of the Cape Verde Islands, the canting keel broke off the boat. In order to keep the boat upright without the keel, Dick filled the water ballast tanks, outran a 50-knot storm and anchored in a cove off the coast of Spain.
After 48 hours, he continued racing without the keel, and on February 4, 2013, after sailing 27,734 miles, Dick crossed the finish line in fourth place with an elapsed time of 86 days, three hours, three minutes and 40 seconds. His other major accomplishment during the race was covering the greatest distance in a 24-hour period, clocking 517.23 miles while racing on December 10th with an average speed of 21.6 knots.