the bitter end

The video of the helicopter crash that claimed the life of Florence Arthaud above  is a bit stunning. Chris Museler’s NY Times Report on her life  is below…

Florence Arthaud, the French sailor who died at 57 in a helicopter crash in Argentina on Monday along with nine others, including two French Olympians, was celebrated by the French yachting world as the only woman to have won the Route du Rhum, a grueling solo trans-Atlantic race.

That victory, in 1990, was the apex of her career. Aboard the 60-foot trimaran Groupe Pierre, she outdueled the world’s top solo ocean racers in a 3,500-mile sprint that took her from Brittany, France, to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. No woman has won the event since.

In France her photograph graced the cover of national magazines, and her striking looks — typically tanned, with piercing eyes framed by thick, wavy auburn hair — only enhanced the celebrity image. Read on.