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Tragedy in Australia

Well-known Australian skipper Andrew Short, 48, died when his PriceWaterhouseCoopers (formerly Shockwave 5) foundered on the rocks off Flinders Islet. Navigator Sally Gordon, 47, was also lost when the R/P 80’s boom swept the two overboard early Sunday morning as they attempted to round the islet during the 92-mile Flinders Islet race. One other sailor was knocked overboard by the boom, but was successfully rescued along with the remaining 15 crew, which included Short’s two teenaged sons.

Andrew Short and Sally Gordon perished when the R/P 80 formerly known as Shockwave 5 foundered off the eastern coast of Australia.

© 2009 Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi

The race is a prelude to the Rolex Sydney Hobart, which Short and Gordon had both sailed 15 times. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Short wasn’t wearing a life jacket, although investigations are still pending. It’s been reported that there was a significant swell, but that it wasn’t particularly breezy. The paper also reported that hours before leaving on the race, Short had hand-delivered a letter from multiple Volvo Ocean Race Navigator Andrew Cape to youngest-circumnavigator hopeful Jessica Watson, warning of the dangers of the sea.

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