A collision at the Régates Royales-Trophée Panerai ends in tragedy

The Régates Royales-Trophée Panerai, which began yesterday (23 September), is in mourning after the sad loss of a skipper.

The 8 Metre class yacht Safir, owned and skippered by Wilfred Tolhurst, was competing in the coastal race. Shortly after midday Safir was said to be trying to avoid Admiral’s Cup team captain Graham Walker’s 1912-built 65-foot Rowdy. At 35 tons, Rowdy would be over twice the weight of Safir. The two yachts collided causing Safir to be dismasted. Wilfred Tolhurst was struck by the falling mast.

The Race Committee together with the CROSS Med and maritime safety crew (SNSM) reacted quickly to bring the skipper ashore, however nothing could be done to save his life. A police enquiry is currently underway to determine the cause of the incident.

All the organisers of the Yacht Club de Cannes, together with the sponsors and sailors join to support the family through these very difficult moments. Today’s first race is cancelled.