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Sir Peter Blake murdered

It is reported that Blake was murdered, shot dead, while anchored off Macapa, Brazil, near the mouth of the Amazon. Blake and his crew were waiting for customs clearance at the end of a two-month expedition up the Amazon on board ketch "Seamaster". Blake was killed instantly and two other crewmembers were injured. According to crewmember evidence Blake died protecting his crew:
"We have been out for dinner, just got back on board and were having a beer on deck. Out of the darkness appeared this group of approximately seven or eight bandits with guns and hoods and motorcycle helmets and held the crew at gunpoint. Blake came charging up in defense of his boat and his crew and got taken down in full flight. Brazilian police claim Blake used a rifle to defend his crew, possibly injuring one of the bandits, before they turned on him.

Blake, 53, had recently retired from racing. He was appointed a United Nations Environmental Program special ambassador, after taking up a post with the Cousteau Society
With more than a half-million racing and cruising miles, Peter Blake was a seasoned ocean sailor. Having competed in the first five Whitbread Races, winning his last with an unprecendented clean sweep of every leg in 1989-90 onboard the maxiketch Steinlager II. Than he turned his talents to the Jules Verne Trophy, around the world non-stop race. In 1994, with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston as co-skipper onboard the maxicat ENZA, he beat the record set by Bruno Peyron onboard Commodore Explorer. He was also the mastermind behind Team New Zealand's victory in the 1995 America's Cup.

Volvo Ocean Race pays respects to Blake
Flags were lowered to half mast at the Sydney Volvo Ocean Race (previously the Whitbread) VOR Chief Executive Helge Alten paid tribute to Blake for helping to place the Volvo Ocean Race where it is today - at the pinnacle of crewed ocean racing.


9/12/2001

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