Eight Bells: Florence Arthaud

Pioneering French sailor Florence Arthaud, 57, died this past March in a helicopter crash in Argentina along with nine others—two of them Olympic athletes—while on their way to film a reality television show.
Author:
Publish date:
Ocean-sailing veteran Florence Arthaud . Photo by Darmigny Francois/Gamma

Ocean-sailing veteran Florence Arthaud . Photo by Darmigny Francois/Gamma

Florence Arthaud

1957-2015

Pioneering French sailor Florence Arthaud, 57, died this past March in a helicopter crash in Argentina along with nine others—two of them Olympic athletes—while on their way to film a reality television show.

Arthaud was best known as the only woman to have won the grueling Route du Rhum transatlantic race, a feat she achieved in 1990 aboard the 60ft trimaran Groupe Pierre. Although born just outside of Paris, Arthaud grew up sailing, eventually rubbing shoulders with such sailors as the iconic Eric Tabarly, father of France’s ongoing offshore sailing craze. At one time she was also the holder of the world record for the fastest solo crossing of the Atlantic.

“I raced against and partied with Florence. She was a force and a crazy woman who lived 10 lives in her 57 years,” says Whitbread Ocean Race and America’s Cup veteran Dawn Riley, currently the executive director at the Oakcliff Sailing in Oyster Bay, New York. “It is shocking and yet somewhat appropriate that she has left us in an exotic land and a most unconventional way.”

“She broke the ground for women in ocean racing,” remembers SAIL editor Peter Nielsen. “I met her 20 years ago before a transatlantic race in which she pushed so hard that she capsized her trimaran. She was the real deal.”

Related

7261ab1f-6891-424f-a22f-14c946c08ba8

Gear: Fusion Panel-Stereo

Plug & Play StereoIt can be a real pain to install a marine stereo inside a boat, what with the tiresome business of running cables through cramped spaces and finding somewhere sensible to locate the speakers. The audiophiles at Fusion thought about this and came up with the ...read more

2019BestBoatsPromo-04

Best Boats 2019

Some years ago, the book Aak to Zumbra catalogued—and celebrated—the incredible diversity of watercraft that has evolved over the centuries, a diversity that remains evident to this day in the 11 winners comprising the “Class of 2019” in SAIL’s Best Boats contest. Indeed, it ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comGuaranteed result What you see on the end of this halyard isn’t a beautiful Flemish Eye worked by a rigger, but it will make a big difference when you have to “mouse” a line through the mast. If the ...read more

dometicadler-700x

How to: Upgrading Your Icebox

The time has come when the prospect of cold drinks and long-term food storage has you thinking about upgrading your icebox to DC-powered refrigeration. Duncan Kent has been there and done that, and has some adviceFresh food must be kept at a refrigerated temperature of 40 degrees ...read more

Jet-in-Belize

Cruising: Evolution of a Dream

There’s a time to go cruising and a time to stop. As Chris DiCroce found, you don’t always get to choose those timesAlbert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, ...read more

01a-rosemary-anchored-at-Qooqqut,-inland-from-Nuuk

Cruising: A Passage to Greenland

When a former winner of the Whitbread Round the World Race invites you to sail the Northwest Passage, there is only one sensible answer. No.More adventurous types might disagree, but they weren’t the ones facing frostbite of the lungs or the possibility of having the yacht’s hull ...read more