- Title: FRANCE: YACHTSMAN PETE GOSS RECEIVES LEGION D'HONNEUR.
- Date: 19th June 1997
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (JUNE 19, 1997) 1. EXTERIOR OF ELYSEE PALACE WITH FRENCH FLAG ON TOP OF BUILDING 2. GUESTS AT CEREMONY AT PRESIDENTIAL SALON 3. CLOSE SHOT PETE GOSS (FAIR HAIR/YOUNGER LOOK/NEARSIDE OF PICTURE) SIDED BY RAPHAEL DINELLI (FARSIDE), THE FRENCHMAN WHOSE LIFE HE SAVED, BOTH SURROUNDED BY RELATIVES, FRIENDS AND OTHER GUESTS 4. PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC ENTERS ROOM 5. CLOSE SHOT RAPHAEL DINELLI LOOKING AT PETE GOSS 6. PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC SAYS: "PETE GOSS. I WILL LIKE TO SALUTE PETE GOSS BECAUSE OF HIS UNIQUE, SINCERE, TALENTED AND DETERMINED BEHAVIOUR. AN EXCEPTIONAL MAN THAT I AM VERY PROUD TO HONOUR WITH THE CROSS OF THNE 'LEGION D'HONNEUR'. 7. AT THE END OF HIS SPEECH, PRESIDENT CHIRAC PINS MEDAL TO PETE GOSS' BLAZER, EMBRACE AND SHAKE HANDS WITH THE YACHTSMAN. 8. AUDIENCE CLAPPING 9. WIDE SHOT GUESTS AT CERMONY 10.PRESIDENT CHIRAC AND OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS LINE UP FOR OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAH WITH GOSS, DINELLI, FRIENDS AND RELATIVES Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 4th July 1997 13:00
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Reuters ID: LVAMXF3LD2N7U1G7P290IPF9Z5Y
- Story Text: British yachtsman Pete Goss was "humbled" and "privileged" on Thursday (June 19) as President Jacques Chirac awarded him one of France's top bravery awards for rescuing a Frech rival in a round-the-world race.
The former Royal Marine received the Legion d'honneur in a glittering ceremony amid the splendour of the Elysee Palace in Paris.
Chirac called the rescue "an act of bravery worthy of a very great sailor, a splendid example of solidarity and generosity".
President Chirac said Goss "a sailor who has always been living by and for the sea" as he pinned the medal with its red ribbon to his blazer.
The 35 year-old yachtsman was "moved" by the tribute. "It was incredible, I cannot describe it. It was very special. "I was very moved, humbled and privileged," he said.
The skipper abandoned the Vendee Globe single-handed race to answer a Mayday call from 25-year-old Raphael Dinelli.
Goss sailed 160 miles through fierce storms to pull the Frenchman from a drifting liferaft after his yacht capsized south of Australia.
The Englishman decision to sacrifice his chance of victory in the 24,000-mile race to save his stricken rival's life endeared him to the French people.
The yachtsman explained it "was not a rescue by one single man" and said he was accepting the medal also on behalf of Australian air force pilots who dropped Dinelli a liferaft and the architect and builder of his 50ft yacht 'Aqua Quorum'.
After the dramatic rescue, Goss had to restart the race from Tasmania, but he was credited with the lost time.
He ended fifth out of six finishers in March 1997, when he sailed into the French port of Le Sables D'Olonne to a hero's welcome by 150,000 people.
Goss became a great friend of Raphael Dinelli whose life he saved and will be best man at the Frenchman wedding in August.
The two sailors also intend to take part in a two-handed transatlantic race together.
Mr Goss joins a distinguished group of Britons, including Queen Victoria and the late historian Richard Cobb, who won the right to wear the coveted red ribbon of the Ordre de la Legion d'honneur.
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