Guy Bernardin: Lost at Sea

Published on October 5th, 2017

French-American sailor Guy Bernardin, who was planning a circumnavigation without stops, has disappeared at sea off the coast of the United States following the discovery of his unmanned boat. It was Bernardin’s intention to organize a flotilla to to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of Frenchman Bernard Moitessier’s participation in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first round the world yacht race.

Here is the AFP news story, translated from French to English:
The French-American navigator Guy Bernardin disappeared at sea off the coast of the United States, where his boat was found last month by the Coast Guard, it was learned Tuesday with his companion, Mitzi.

North Carolina, in the southeastern United States, on August 9 aboard the “Crazy Horse”, a sailboat of about fifteen meters that he had just bought, Guy Bernardin, 73, to join La Turballe (Loire-Atlantique) at the end of a crossing of the Atlantic from three to four weeks.

His boat was found a few days ago about 700 miles off Cape Cod (Massachusetts, northeastern United States). The survival raft was still on board.

“We always think it happens to others,” Mitzi Bernardin told AFP.

The last known position of Guy Bernardin dated August 15, off the coast of Virginia. His Spot tag had not been issued since then. The Regional Operational Surveillance and Rescue Center of Griz Nez (Pas-de-Calais) issued a “Notice of Concern” on 18 September inviting mariners to report any relevant information.

Guy Bernardin was scheduled to embark on a non-stop round-the-world tour in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of Bernard Moitessier’s “Long Road,” an autobiographical account of his journey during the first solo round the world race.

Originally from Saint-Briac (Ille-et-Vilaine), the navigator had spent six times Cape Horn and carried out five sailing tours of the world.

He had participated in the first edition of the Vendée Globe, in 1989-90, but had to stop in Australia because of a toothache. The navigator also had several transatlantic soloists, two BOC Challenge and the Route du Rhum in 1990.

“It is not necessarily a bad end for a sailor,” said skipper Titouan Lamazou, who had participated in several races with him. “It was a sailor like I love them, an old bear bad licked but very sympathetic,” he added.

In 1998, Guy Bernardin completed a three-year world tour in New York on board the “Spray of Saint-Briac”, a copy of the “Spray” by Joshua Slocum, the first circumnavigator of history, with his wife and their son Briac, then seven years of age.

“It was a tight, unique, somewhat atypical guy in the offshore racing world,” said Bernard Rubinstein, former editor of Voile Magazine.

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