The sailing world has been rocked by the very sad news of the sudden death of Peter ‘Spike’ Doriean, one of Australia’s most gifted and internationally respected sailors and a great mate to so many yachties throughout Australia and the world.
Spike was on the island of St Barts to compete aboard Rambler, the ex 90ft Alfa Romeo, launched in 2002, now owned by American George David, at the Les Voiles de Saint Bath in the Caribbean, which was to start Tuesday (today) local time.
It is too early for funeral arrangements, but Spike’s funeral will take place in Melbourne where he was born and bred and started his sailing career.
The 38-year-old Australian, who was a regular on the offshore racing circuit is believed to have died from head injuries after falling in the shower at his hotel in St Maarten in the Caribbean. He was discovered by a crew mate.
He was in the region to take part in the inaugural Voiles de Saint Barth regatta as a member of George David’s Rambler crew who have vowed to continue racing after consulting Doriean’s wife Nicki.
“It is unbelievable,” said Kenny Read, crew on Rambler and skipper of PUMA in the last Volvo Ocean Race.
“There’s a guy who has been through the Southern Ocean a dozen times and is one of the toughest guys you’ll ever meet.. ever in any sport.
“We are all in a state of complete shock and were going to cancel the event but his wife Nicki has asked if the boat can sail in his honour. It may be the best thing for everyone but it is a hard decision – everyone wants to do it for Spike”
Doriean was one of Australia’s most popular and highly respected sailors. He took part in the Volvo Ocean Race on two occasions as a member of the djuice dragons crew in 2001 and more recently on the Spanish boat movistar in the 2005-06 race.
Deepest sympathies go to Spike’s wife, Nicki and their young children, Fox and Jemima, and to his parents and family.