Sir Peter Blake
Sir Peter Blake
Blake's (1948-2001) sailing career reads like an heroic tale. He sailed in the first five Whitbreads, winning the last-1989/1990-on Steinlager II
in stunning fashion with wins in every leg. Following that triumph, he
sailed with Robin Knox-Johnston in 1994 on the 92-foot cat Enza in a successful bid to break the round the world record.
Blake's most famous victories were his final two, the 1995 and 2000
America's Cup wins with Team New Zealand in the America's Cup. The
first victory, in 1995 gave New Zealand the Cup for the first time in
history. The second win was the first time that the Cup had ever been
successfully defended by any other country but the United States. For
his racing exploits Blake was rewarded by Queen Elizabeth with the OBE,
the MBE, and the KBE.
The next chapter in Blake's life was the
culmination of a long-cherished desire to make the world a better place
for future generations. An association with the Cousteau foundation and
a position as a special envoy for the United Nations Environment
Program led to the founding of Blakexpeditions, a program designed to
"help protect the waters of the world and, so, life in, on and around
those waters." To help achieve this goal, Blakexpeditions planned to
undertake voyages to areas of the world which are key to the planet's
ecosystem, including the Antarctic, the Arctic and the great rivers.
Prior to exploring the Amazon, Blake sailed Seamaster
along the Antarctic Peninsula farther south than anyone had been,
examining the lack of sea ice and collapsing ice shelves caused by
changing climate conditions. Blake was shot and killed by river bandits
aboard Seamaster December 5, 2001, at the end of a two-month research expedition in the Amazon River Basin.