The Transquadra is a race
for solo and double crews from Madeira
. Sailors departed Madeira
on January 24th.
Jean-Marc Hautbois, a 55 year-old P.E. teacher from Gap in the Hautes Alpes, was single-handing his vessel, a First 31.7 named Xenon.
On February 7th, Mico Bolo, the Transquadra race
director, noted that satellite
data indicated Xenon
had suddenly changed course and speed some 760 miles east of Martinique
. This occurred not long after the boat's skipper
had informed race organizers that he intended to climb his mast
Another race crew, Francis and Patrick Van Eetvelde Bevernaege aboard Avel
, were successful in rendezvousing with Xenon
on Monday, February 9th. They discovered that there was no one aboard the vessel. A harness was hanging at about half-mast and a single
shoe lay on the foredeck. The vessel was sailing under its genoa
alone, and the Avel
crew reported that the boom was broken.
Almost certainly, Jean-Marc Hautbois fell from his mast
and went overboard
. It is unlikely that his body will ever be found.