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Thread: Mini Sailor Disappears During Qualifier

  1. #1
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    Mini Sailor Disappears During Qualifier

    Article by Nicholas Fichot for Voiles et Voiliers

    The search did not resume Monday morning to try to find at sea the body of the Minister Stéphane Thomas whose Mini 6.50 had been found empty Saturday night off Brest. This skipper made a solitary course of 1000 miles qualifying. The Ministries of Transgascogne will respect a minute of silence Monday at 14 hours in Laredo (Spain) on the starting line of the second stage.

    "Active searches to find Stéphane Thomas' body were suspended on Sunday, which means that there is no longer any means dedicated to this research at sea but an awareness was made with all browsers on the supposed zone of disappearance of this navigator " confirmed us Monday morning the officer of communication of the Maritime Prefecture of Brest which centralized since Saturday the researches engaged.

    The sailboat was empty

    It was around 8 pm on Saturday that Stéphane Thomas' sailboat, apparently unoccupied on board, had been spotted by an Atlantic 2 Navy aircraft 3 miles offshore from Brest.

    "Hurry on the spot among other surface means, our star SNS 81 - Ile d'Ushant found and trailed this boat Saturday around 22 hours. The owner of our boat, Michel Stephan, immediately confirmed by radio that the boat was empty. The boat was towed in the port of Ouessant where it was anchored and left at the disposal of the maritime gendarmerie " explained Monday the president of the station SNSM Ouessant.

    Stéphane Thomas's Mini was on Monday morning at anchorage in Ouessant on an isolated safe, a little off the port of Lampaul, for the purpose of the investigation.

    The alert was launched Saturday morning with CROSS and the Préfecture maritime Brest by relatives of Stéphane Thomas who were worried about not having any news from the browser since July 30 at 00 h 20 (French time).

    Recent news

    At the time of this latest news, the French Ministry had passed the Irish buoy Coningbeg and was back to the port of Lorient where he was based. Stéphane Thomas was then soloing his 1000-mile qualifying course.

    He left Lorient last July 22 and had bypassed the island of Ré before heading to Ireland in order to validate this qualifying course.

    This 57-year-old skipper from Nantes sailed in a Maxi 6.50 with a round nose on David Raison. This serial Mini was launched on March 11 in Concarneau in front of the shipyards IDB Marine where it had been built. Carrying the No. 975, this Mini was the tenth copy of this series David Raison plan.

    Stéphane Thomas had christened his sailboat " Aelig ", which means "little angel" in Breton.

    It was aboard Aelig that he participated in the race of Mini Pornichet Select last April, finishing 55th out of 60 competitors, then at the Mini Fastnet duet, with his brother, before giving up in this race.

    To pay tribute to their missing companion, all the skippers of the Transgascogne will respect, at the request of the race director, Denis Hugues, a minute of silence on Monday at 14:00 at the time of taking the departure in Laredo of the second stage of this Transgascogne which will bring them back to their starting point of Sables-d'Olonne.
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  2. #2
    That is some sad news.

    Condolences to Stephane and family.

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