Already, for several months, the French press has often touted two-time Barcelona World Race winner Jean Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec) as a likely favorite to win. While speaking with Dick a few days ago in Paris, Dick agreed that he stood a good chance of winning the race and also offered a short list of competitors who he said would probably win. Besides himself, he said, his favorites to win are newcomer François Gabart (Macif), Vincent Riou (PRB), and Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire). These sailors are also sailing on the newest and lightest boats compared to the rest of the fleet. However, he emphasized that the sailors' seamanship skills will make the difference. "When you are in the middle of the ocean, some sailors' mental faculties may suffer, and as a result, the boat's technology and speed difference does not matter much when you can't take advantage of them," Dick told me.