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Tragedy Off Cannes

Tragedy struck the opening race of the Regates Royale off Cannes yesterday. British attorney Wilf Tolhurst, 64, was killed when his classic 50-ft 8-Meter Safir collided with a larger British yacht shortly after noon. Winds were 20 knots at the time with confused seas. It was unclear from early reports exactly what happened, but the other yacht, Graham Walker’s 65-ft Rowdy, apparently had right of way and Tolhurst was trying to avoid them. The collision brought down Safir’s mast and snapped off the larger boat’s bowsprit. Attempts were made to revive Tolhurst, but he was thought to have been struck by the falling mast and killed instantly. None of the other seven crew of Safir, which included Tolhurst’s son, Julian, were injured. There were likewise no reports of injuries on Rowdy.

Out of respect, Wednesday’s racing was cancelled, but the Tolhurst family has requested that the regatta, which runs through Saturday, continue. The Regates Royale, celebrating its 30th year, is an annual competition for classic yachts.

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