Laurent Bourgnon was declared missing after a tragic dive. The exact details remain unknown, but it appears that the likely location of the incident, just off the Touau atoll in French Polynesia, is often subjected to strong currents. A cruel destiny for a man who loved sports.
A strange destiny, almost irreverent of this sportsman who braved the toughest oceans and always came out unharmed and victorious, participating in the Route du Rhum, and the Transat Jacques Vabre, during a highly respected career. A long and successful career ending at age 49, during a normal dive which took place during a cruise.
His brother Yvan, also a sea lover and expert navigator, hasn’t lost hope, and will continue searching for Laurent’s body.

Yvan has gone through a strange period: from cheers to tears. The other strange side to this situation: he found out about his brother after having finished his trip round the world in a sailboat with no cabin or equipment, no electronic devices or outside help. An almost insane challenge, “Why did I decide to go around the world in an uninhabitable catamaran?” he said, after his triumphant arrival, “That is what everyone asks. I wanted to go back to sailing the way they used to many years ago, without electronic devices, weather forecasts or any other external help.”
“When a storm arrived,” he explained, “I had to handle the situation, face the problem and find a solution, rather than take shelter in the cabin.”
Without a navigator and GPS, using a simple sextant to orient himself in the ocean, his adventure lasted 626 days and covered 30 thousand miles, ending on 23 June. A lot of joy, satisfaction and pride for an enterprise which puts him in the record books, together with the best of all time. An immense joy, snuffed out by intense sadness.

Paolo Bellosta

9 July 2015