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Sir Peter – Part 3

Jun 12, 2009 2 Comments by

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New Zealand Leadership Week, 26th June – 3rd July 2009

New Zealand Leadership Week highlights the strategic relevance and value that great leaders, and great leadership, provide for our country. A range of organisations, institutions and schools organise activities and events to get their members, clients, local community, employees or students involved in debating, discussing, or celebrating leadership.

By working together, we aim to raise awareness of both the importance and impact that great leadership makes and also to showcase the work that is being done to develop leadership capability in New Zealand.

The week begins with the 2009 Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards ceremony on Friday 26th June. See the 2009 timetable for events in your region.

Please feel free to contact Katy Golding to discuss the concept further or to register an event during New Zealand Leadership Week.

more details here


Museum opens in honour of Sir Peter Blake

Lady Pippa Blake rode with Emirates Team New Zealand in Nice as 18th Man, and in a few weeks she’ll see them again in Auckland for the opening of a new museum in honour of her late husband, Sir Peter Blake…

Among the many special guests who have ridden as 18th man on the back of the AC boats during the past fortnight was Lady Pippa Blake. Wife of the late Sir Peter Blake, who masterminded Team New Zealand to its first America’s Cup victory in 1995 and its subsequent defence in 2000, Lady Pippa maintains a strong connection with the team.

She flew from her home in England to Nice for an opportunity to race with her old friends on Dean Barker’s crew. “I can’t keep away. The fact that I’m included by the Kiwis, and meet so many old friends here, is still very special. It takes me back.”

In a few weeks she will be reunited with the team again, this time in Auckland to attend the opening of a new section of New Zealand’s National Maritime Museum, called “Black Magic, Blue Water”. The new museum wing is a tribute to the memory of Sir Peter and his colourful life as a champion not only of great sailing contests but also of environmental concerns.

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Sir Peter Blake

New Zealand yachting legend and Laureus World Sports Academy founder member Sir Peter Blake, was posthumously given both the `Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award’ and the `Laureus Sport for Good Award’

Peter’s widow Lady Pippa and their two children accepted the two awards to a standing ovation from Hollywood legend Sir Sean Connery who gave a moving tribute to Peter at the 2002 Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco.

“All I can say is that we were very, very proud of Peter,” she said. “He was a wonderful father and a wonderful husband and I am immensely proud of the Laureus Academy for making this Lifetime Achievement Award for him.

“He believed in all that the Foundation stood for. He really believed sport could make a difference and now we can all make a difference.”

Connery also paid a moving tribute to a New Zealander regarded as one of the most respected ocean sailors in yachting history.

“It is my privilege to have been invited to act as the spokesperson for the Laureus World Sports Academy,” said Connery. “I am here to explain what is their sad yet beautiful gesture of honouring just one man with two prestigious Laureus awards.

“As we all know, in December 2001 Sir Peter was the victim of a senseless murder that robbed the world of a unique human being. He came to the global stage from that wonderful country of New Zealand and, while Peter was a young impressionable boy, Sir Edmund Hillary became the first man to conquer Mount Everest.

“So Peter set out to conquer the oceans, and was widely recognised as the world’s greatest sailor. He was a caring humanitarian, a pioneering conservationist and a man who truly concerned himself with the requirements of those in need. He was the very epitome of everything that the Laureus World Sports Academy stands for.

“His first love was, of course, the sea, and I know that he treasured these words by the British poet John Masefield:

‘I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.’

“Sweet dreams, Peter.”

The tall and blond-haired Blake won the prestigious Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989, captured the Jules Verne Trophy in 1994 with a record-breaking non-stop voyage and, in 1995, helped make Team New Zealand only the second non-American team in the America’s Cup’s 144-year history to take the coveted silver trophy. He won the America’s Cup for the second time with Team New Zealand in 2000. Last year, Blake was posthumously awarded the Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee, one of its highest. In 1994 was honoured by the International Sailing Federation as their World Sailor of the Year, alongside Sir Robin Knox Johnston in recognition of their record breaking circumnavigation on ENZA.

Laureus Media/ISAF Secretariat

Killed in the Amazon

1994 ISAF World Sailor of the Year

ISAF expresses our sincere condolences to Lady Pippa, their children and all Sir Peter’s family.

Sir Peter Blake KBE

Sir Peter Blake, one of the world’s leading and most illustrious yachtsmen, has been murdered on board his yacht Seamaster off the mouth of the Brazilian Amazon.

Omega Press Release

It is with deepest regret that OMEGA learned of the death of Sir Peter Blake, K.B.E., who was shot and killed by armed intruders who boarded the “blakexpeditions” vessel Seamaster, anchored off Macapa at the mouth of the River Amazon, early this morning (Central European Time). Sir Peter apparently died instantly despite desperate resuscitation efforts by members of the Seamaster crew. He is survived by his wife, Lady Pippa Blake, and their two children, Sarah-Jane and James.

Seamaster was anchored off Macapa awaiting customs clearance to depart Brazilian waters after a two-month expedition exploring the Amazon and the Rio Negro as part of the “blakexpeditions” programme to monitor the affects of global warming and pollution on the most environmentally sensitive regions of the world. She was due to depart tomorrow for the Orinoco river, in Venezuela, to meet and pick-up the “blakexpeditions” jungle team which has continued the exploration work, crossing from the Rio Negro into the head waters of the Orinoco and down to its mouth in the Caribbean. The group of seven or eight armed and hooded intruders boarded Seamaster at approximately 10.15pm local time.

Sir Peter was fatally shot and two other members of Seamaster’s crew were injured, one with a gunshot wound across the back, the other with a blow to the face. Both injured men are back aboard Seamaster after receiving hospital treatment. The other seven Seamaster crew were badly shaken but unharmed. Brazilian police are investigating. OMEGA is deeply shocked and devastated by this senseless killing.

Nicolas G. Hayek, Chairman and CEO of the Swatch Group, OMEGA’s parent company, said “Sir Peter has been a personal friend for a number of years and we were honoured to support his worthwhile cause. No words can express our sorrow at this sad loss and at this time our thoughts are with his family in England and his close friends within the blakexpeditions organisation”. “Sir Peter was a very special person to many people around the world, highly regarded because of the man he was, because of everything he had achieved and because of everything he represented,” said blakexpeditions spokesman Alan Sefton. “He had left behind his many major achievements in sport to dedicate himself to creating greater awareness of the need to take better care of the world in which we live. “And, typical of the man, he was giving it his heart and soul along with all those other virtues with which he had become synonymous – total passion, charisma, commitment, leadership and integrity. ‘

We are struggling to come to terms with his loss and our hearts go out to his immediate family here – Lady Pippa, Sarah-Jane and James – and to his mother Joyce and family back in New Zealand.”

It was in 1995 that he helped make Team New Zealand only the second non-American team in the America’s Cup’s 144-year history to take the coveted silver trophy. They won again in 2000 – Team New Zealand’s “Black Magic” crushed Italy’s “Prada” by five races to nil – but those achievements were just the tip of the iceberg in Blake’s career.

Born in Auckland, New Zealand on 1 October 1948, Blake began sailing at eight and 12 years later he had built his first boat in the family garden.

In 1970, having completed his mechanical engineering studies, Blake moved to England and within a year had taken part in his first major race, the Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro event, aboard “Ocean Spirit”.

Blake contested the first Whitbread Round the World race in 1973 and was the only person to compete in the first five Whitbreads.

That run ended when he won the prestigious Whitbread in 1989/90 with an un-precedented clean sweep, on Steinlager 2, taking line honours on each of the six legs in the nine-month race and the overall coveted title.

In 1979, Blake took line honours and the course record in the Fastnet, followed in 1980 by line honours and handicap honours in the Sydney-Hobart.

In 1994 he captured the Jules Verne Trophy by sailing non-stop around the globe on the multihull ENZA with Sir Robin-Knox Johnston in 74 days, 22 hours, 17 minutes and 22 seconds, and it was for this achievement that Sir Peter and Sir Robin were together crowned as the ISAF World Sailors of the Year in 1994.

His 1995 America’s Cup victory was unquestionably Blake’s greatest achievement. As well as his studious nature, sailing success and blonde, 1970s-style moustache, Blake was also famous for his lucky red socks.

During the successful America’s Cup challenge in 1995, Blake, who was also the mainsail trimmer, wore the same pair of red socks throughout. Team New Zealand only lost one race in the campaign – when Blake was rested.

Before the final, team sponsors manufactured tens of thousands of pairs of Blake’s lucky red socks which sold out in days in New Zealand. The craze resulted in the sale of 100,000 pairs of red socks and with half the money going to the syndicate it proved a masterstroke in subsdising the team’s funding.

And upon the team’s, return hundreds of thousands jammed the main streets of Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland to welcome the cup.

In recognition of his achievements, Sir Peter was knighted in 1995 by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to yachting.

Blake repeated the success in the millennium year when he became the first non-American entry to retain the America’s Cup in 149 years, after beating Italian challengers Prada 5-0.

He was twice named New Zealand Sportsman of the Year and four times New Zealand Yachtsman of the Year.

Blake was also chosen to succeed the late Jacques Cousteau as captain of the marine research vessel Calypso 2.

In July of this year he was named as special envoy for the United Nations Environment Programme, and was travelling in the Amazon as part of his UN duties, monitoring the effects of global warming and pollution in the region.

Sir Peter announced earlier this year he was giving up competitive yachting to devote himself to environmental work, at the head of his “blakexpeditions” organisation.

From Yachting New Zealand

Sir Peter Blake

It is with great sadness Yachting New Zealand sends heart felt condolences to the family and friends of Sir Peter Blake.

The tragic death of Sir Peter is an enormous loss to yachting in New Zealand and world-wide, and to humanity.

Sir Peter gave so much of himself – his time and his vision, to so many within the yachting community, and through his dream revitalised a nation.

Our collective passion for the adventures and victories on the sea were so often inspired by this wondrous and yet humble man.

Today, and in the weeks and years ahead, yachties from Bluff to Cape Reinga,and New Zealanders everywhere, will reflect upon the marvellous and lasting contributions Sir Peter Blake made to enhance our lives and our communities.

Courtesy of BBC Online Website

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, with whom Blake made the fastest ever circumnavigation of the world, told BBC Sport Online “it was a pleasure sailing with him”.

“The great thing about sailing with Peter was he was a first-rate seaman, a very, very good organiser and had great tactical judgement and was good company,” Knox-Johnston said.

Sir Chay Blyth and New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark were also quick to pay tribute to one of the greats of sailing.

Blyth, one of Britain’s most accomplished yachtsmen, added his tribute.

“He was loved by everyone and will be greatly mourned, especially back home in New Zealand. He was a very quiet man, there was nothing flash about him and he achieved so much in sailing.”

“I first came across Peter in 1974 in the first Whitbread race when he was the watch officer on board the Burton Cutter,” Bltyh added. “From there, he rolled on to the very pinnacle of sailing and what he achieved in the America’s Cup was quite amazing. From a small country like New Zealand, which had a small budget, he took on the might of American yachting, in America, and won – it was a remarkable achievement. Peter was renowned for his attention to detail and planning and he had a massive impact on our sport.”

Helen Clark

Prime Minister Clark said she was “totally devastated” by the murder of one New Zealand’s favourite sons. Clark, who had spent the night on Blake’s yacht on the Amazon three weeks ago added that it was “too distressing for words”.

“This is a dreadful thing. A life has been wasted by a criminal act. He was the Hillary of the waters, our greatest sailor,” she said in reference to Mount Everest conqueror and fellow New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary.

The New Zealand parliament will be briefly suspended and flags will be flown at half-mast.

Memorial Website

A memorial site has been created in memory of, Sir Peter Blake, who was born on October 1, 1948 and died on December 5, 2001.

This was a Kiwi who seemed so much larger than life. He was “big stuff” in whatever he did and he carried the spirit of thousands of New Zealanders along with him.

By the time he died Peter Blake was a husband, a father, a sailor, an adventurer, a passionate environmentalist and a New Zealand national hero. He commanded, but never sought, world-wide respect on an international stage. more here

Sir Peter Blake’s vessel voyages past North Pole-in the ice

7:00PM Monday Dec 17, 2007

Grant Redvers has navigated Tara, the boat on which Sir Peter Blake died, farther north than any ship before, 160km shy of the North Pole.

A New Zealand researcher has set a record for travelling by ship across the top of the world on the Arctic ice cap, using the boat on which Sir Peter Blake died.

Grant Redvers, 34, of Wellington, is expedition chief of the voyage of the Tara, which is about to emerge from the Arctic ice after passing within 160km of the North Pole while deliberately trapped in an ice floe.

Mr Redvers said on the Tara expedition’s website that he first became aware of the schooner when it was owned by Sir Peter and known as Seamaster.

It had been built with a thick, round, aluminium hull, designed to rise up when caught between plates of ice like an olive stone crushed between a finger and thumb.

Sir Peter was murdered by “pirates” – thieves who robbed visiting vessels – while on board the ship on the Amazon in 2001, after which it was bought by Etienne Bourgois, head of the French fashion company Agnes B.

It was deployed to the Arctic last year and deliberately trapped in an ice floe north of Russia to prove a theory of transpolar drift, with funding from the European Union and Mr Redvers acting as chief of the expedition, with eight French and Russian crew, The Times newspaper reported.

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If you would like to share a story or 2 about Peter, post it below or flick me an e-mail.

Fair Winds

The Story of Sir Peter Blake

Tessa Duder tells the story of Sir Peter’s life for young readers

The Sir Peter Blake Trust, together with Oratia Media and award winning children’s author Tessa Duder, are proud to present our new storybook for young readers – The Story of Sir Peter Blake.

One of the greatest challenges we face is keeping Sir Peter Blake alive for young kiwis, and this wonderful novel addresses the challenge head-on. Tessa Duder tells the gripping story of Sir Peter’s life – from his childhood, through his ocean racing career, the America’s Cup campaigns, and the environmental work he dedicated his last years to.

more here

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2 Responses to “Sir Peter – Part 3”

  1. Yachtyakka Index says:

    […] Peter Blake – P3 […]

  2. Sir Peter says:

    […] yachts are expected to arrive in Auckland about January 4.Julie Ash/News EditorPart 2 herePart 3 here This post is tagged Alan Sefton, Alexander Turnbull Library, Bandit, Blake's Odyssey, brad […]

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