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Blake awarded two Laureus Awards

Blake's widow Lady Pippa, centre, and their two children accepting his awards  

MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- The late New Zealand yachting legend Sir Peter Blake has been awarded the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award and the Laureus Sport for Good Award.

Blake, 53, was shot dead by pirates who boarded his boat while it was moored near the mouth of Brazil's Amazon river on December 5.

His widow, Lady Pippa, and their two children accepted the awards in Monte Carlo from Hollywood superstar Sir Sean Connery to a standing ovation.

Lady Pippa said: "All I can say is that we were very, very proud of Peter."

"He was a wonderful father and a wonderful husband. He believed in all that the Foundation stood for. He really believed sport could make a difference and now we can all make a difference," she said.

Peter Blake: A hero of sailing 

Connery also paid a moving tribute to the New Zealander regarded as one of the most respected ocean sailors in yachting history.

"It is my privilege to have been invited to act as the spokesperson for the Laureus World Sports Academy," said Connery. "I am here to explain what is their sad, yet beautiful, gesture of honouring just one man with two prestigious Laureus awards.

Blake was considered a yachting hero  

"Sir Peter was the victim of a senseless murder that robbed the world of a unique human being. He came to the global stage from that wonderful country of New Zealand and, while Peter was a young impressionable boy, Sir Edmund Hillary became the first man to conquer Mount Everest.

"So Peter set out to conquer the oceans, and was widely recognised as the world's greatest sailor. He was a caring humanitarian, a pioneering conservationist and a man who truly concerned himself with the requirements of those in need. He was the very epitome of everything that the Laureus World Sports Academy stands for," he said.

Blake won the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989, captured the Jules Verne Trophy in 1994 with a record-breaking non-stop voyage and, in 1995, helped make Team New Zealand only the second non-American team in the 114-year-old history of the America's Cup to take the coveted silver trophy.

He won the America's Cup for the second time with Team New Zealand in 2000. Last year, Blake was awarded the Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee, one of its highest honours.


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