Regates Royales memorial to lost sailor


Following the death of a skipper killed aboard his 8 Metre Class yacht Safir when she was dismasted in a race collision, a tribute has been paid by race organisers. The Regates Royales race officers paid homage to Wilfred Tolhurst, who sailed regularly at Cannes. A minute’s silence and a black flag were the focus of the morning before the Classic fleet headed for a circuit in tribute to the East Coast sailor.

The Metre and Dragon Classes also delayed their starts restricting themselves to one race each, but after a shortened course due to a big wind shift, just the dragons were able to complete their race.

The Saint Honorat monks on the Lerins Islands will hold a special mass in the monastery chapel on Thursday morning at 11:20 in memory of Tolhurst.

All competitors were called to an 11 am briefing on Wednesday morning to run through the day’s proceedings planned in memory of Tolhurst, the owner of Safir. Black flags to be hoisted and roses to be thrown out to sea where handed out. The Race organisers also asked that the Classic yachts also join all on the water for this act.

The J Class, Shamrock, the large Classics, Spirit of Tradition such as Partridge, Tuiga, Sylvia, Kim, Moonbeam…all sailed in the Bay of the Napoule in homage to Tolhurst and his crew. The Tolhurst family asked that racing continue, as the skipper of Safir would have wished for it. The Dragons, Metre Classes, Toucans and Super Tofinou raced: the family of the deceased indicated that the skipper of Safir, who was a regular competitor of the Regattes Royales – Panerai Trophy, would have wished that the races go on.