Tributes and Appeal for Peter ‘Spike’ Doriean

The sailing world has being paying tribute to Australian sailor Peter ‘Spike’ Doriean  who died on Sunday after sustaining head injuries from an accidental fall. The crew of ‘Rambler’ dedicated their first line honours win in the inaugural Voiles de St Barts to their former team-mate.

Skipper of Rambler, Kenny Read said,

“The Rambler team is here for his family. 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. I have known him for 20 years and have raced against and with him for what seems like a million miles. He was a true professional on and off the water.”

Doriean competed in many high profile offshore events including the Volvo Ocean Race. Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race sailed with Spike in the Volvo Ocean Race and the Sydney Hobart Race. He paid tribute yesterday saying:

“It was incredibly sad to wake up to the news that Peter Doriean had lost his life. We sailed together in the Volvo Ocean Race 2001-02 and won the Sydney-Hobart in 2000, so I know that sailing has lost a very talented sailor and big personality. We have all lost a good friend with a very big smile and a great sense of humour. Life can be so incredibly unfair, and our thoughts are with his family. The sailing scene is never going to be the same without him. He will be deeply missed.

Bouwe Bekking, who also sailed with Doriean said:

“Spike was the guy who was still smiling even when the winds reached gale force, he just loved the rough weather. The word fitness was a thing he was not very familiar with as he was already strong as an ox, but once he found out the extra benefits, you couldn’t get him out of the gym. There was one particular race he loved besides the Volvo and that was the Sydney-Hobart race, or the ‘Howie’ as he liked to call it. He must have done about 20 of them. Besides being a top sailor, Spike was an entertainer onboard, always ready to tell stories and to cheer the rest of the crew up.”

Spike is survived by his wife Nicki and two young children, Jemima aged 5 and Fox aged 3.

Spike was the sole provider for his young family, and his death along with the financial burden of bringing Spike home to Australia, has had a devastating impact on this young family. An appeal has been set up to assist them.

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