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
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
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