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Vendée Globe: Solo Sailor sails throughout the Bass Strait

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Frenchman Jean Pierre Dick (St Michel-Virbac) at the Vendée Globe
Frenchman Jean Pierre Dick (St Michel-Virbac) at the Vendée Globe

For the first time ever in the non-stop solo round the world Vendée Globe race's history, a competitor has gone through Bass Strait to avoid a storm in the Southern Ocean.

Frenchman Jean Pierre Dick (St Michel-Virbac) is the first Vendée Globe skipper ever to race through the Bass Strait. He was 45 nautical miles north of Devonport - half way across the north coast of Tasmania at 0400hrs TU this Wednesday. Dick was making 16kts and exited the Strait, and the shelter of Tasmania, at 0900hrs TU.

The French skipper has elected to sail a course over 400 miles north of the thumb line, usual track, as he seeks to avoid a violent storm which is now passing to the south of him. A helicopter flew over Dick, a solo skipper who is lying in seventh place on his fourth successive Vendée Globe and has twice won the two handed Barcelona World Race around the world, in his first sight of other human life since he left Les Sables d'Olonne (France) on Sunday 6th November.