French yachtswoman Florence Arthaud was among 10 people killed in a tragic accident in Argentina yesterday, when two helicopters collided during the filming of a TV reality show.
Seven other French nationals were also killed including the swimmer, Camille Muffat and the boxer, Alexis Vastine, along with their two Argentine helicopter pilots.
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has paid tribute to Florence as one of France’s greatest yachtswomen, who charmed the public when she won the 1990 Route du Rhum, the solo transatlantic race between France and Guadeloupe.
On November 18, 1990, Florence Arthaud forever earned her nickname as the “Little Bride of the Atlantic” when, aged 33, she arrived in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, as winner of the fourth edition of the Route du Rhum.
Arthaud completed the prestigious transatlantic solo race in 14 days, 10 hours and 10 minutes onboard the trimaran ‘Pierre 1’. The journey was far from smooth – the autopilot and radio failed, and she had suffered a hernia during the race. But the victory made her famous across France and earned her accolade of ‘Champion of Champions’ by the French newspaper L’Equipe.
Florence Arthaud had sailed with many legendary French sailors such as Bruno Peyron. She had raced doublehanded with Barcelona World Race competitor Jean Le Cam, together taking second place in the Transat AG2R in 1996.
In recent years she divided her time between Paris and Marseille, but still could still be found passionately supporting ocean sailors on the pontoons. Describing herself she said, “I’ve lived the life of a free spirit and adventurer
ISAF expresses its sincere condolence to Arthaud’s family and friends in the sailing world and all those affected.