ISLAND OF MARAJO, BRAZIL – According to today's Daily Mail (GBR), the fugitive pirate on the run for 15 years, Jose Irandir Cardoso, has been arrested in Brazil. Cardoso was convicted of killing the famous Kiwi sailor Sir Peter Blake in 2001. Sir Peter was researching in the Amazon when his ship was attacked by pirates. He was shot dead and Cardoso was sentenced to 32-years for his involvement. It is not clear how Cardoso, reportedly a "Water Rats" gang member, was able to evade the Brazilian authorities for so many years.
As many if not most of our Dear Readers will know, among other great sailing achievements Peter Blake led the team, skippered by Russell Coutts, that won the America's Cup in 1995 for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, the first AC win by a Kiwi team after three previous attempts in 1987, 1988 and 1992.
In 1995 RNZYS/Team New Zealand defeated the defender San Diego Yacht Club, and their team led by Dennis Conner, in an impressive 5-0 drubbing.
Sir Peter then led the development of the Viaduct Basin in Auckland for the 2000 Cup, turning a "log farm" and fishing boat backwater into a thriving commercial/residential centre and modern America's Cup HQ in the heart of Auckland. With Sir Peter still leading the AC effort, the Kiwis successfully defended in 2000. He then retired from the Cup to begin in earnest his research expeditions. He was tragically killed in the Amazon a year later. During that same period, Russell Coutts and his "tight five" mates from Team New Zealand left for greener pastures – Ernesto Bertarelli's Swiss Challenger Alinghi representing Société Nautique Genève.
In 2002-3 Alinghi breezed through the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selection series to become the ultimate challenger for the 2003 Cup, and then lifted the Cup from RNZYS and Team New Zealand 5-0.
Read the full Daily Mail article, that has more photos, here.
The late, great Sir Peter Blake in the ticker-tape parade down Auckland's Queen Street celebrating Team New Zealand's win in the 1995 America's Cup.