It is with great sadness that ISAF reports that Andre Raoult has passed away, aged 70.
Andre slipped away from us all in Marseille, France at 20.30 on Thursday 20 March 2014. Andre died of cancer. On behalf of each one of you I have conveyed our deepest condolences and love and respect to Andre's wife Linda and all their family on this very sad occasion.
Andre and Linda are very special people who have touched the lives of so many, many people in Oceania and around the world. This global sailing community today pays tribute to this great man and reflects on Andre's life and the personal manner and nature of Andre's association with each one of us through his beloved sport of Sailing.
Andre the sailor, Andre the coach, Andre the instructor, Andre the international Judge, Andre the mentor and Andre the friend. These amazing capacities, personal resources and living images are in themselves a staggering sign of the intensity, completeness and success of Andre's life.
His love of Linda Poema Kainuku Raoult and the lifetime of service to the sport he so cherished and lived and loved to the fullest means that almost no words can adequately convey the love and respect that exists in our world for Andre and this truly unique and singularly impressive life and individual. We have been enriched, influenced and improved though the opportunities that our association has benefitted each and every one of us. Thank You Andre for your life and self.
From Andre's Brittany boyhood to Africa, to French Polynesia, to Cook Islands and the Pacific Islands and countries of Oceania to the very last days of his life in Oceania all were so fully engaged with the ocean and sailing that it was only in February this year while Andre and Linda were in Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand at the 2014 A-Class Catamaran World Championships as an International Judge that he learned the news that he had cancer.
Andre and Linda immediately travelled to Marseille, France to the world acclaimed hospital with his own brother as a senior member of its medical staff where Andre underwent further tests and treatment. That was only five weeks ago and will give you the sense of the timing and appreciation of the sudden and unexpected nature of this news of his passing.
One of the last activities as our President of Oceania Sailing Federation was that Andre completed and presented his OSAF Annual Report for 2013 and this was finalised just two weeks ago. Much of the considerable work achieved in 2013 and indeed over the last 10 years since our first meeting in Suva Fiji in 2003 is through the vision and commitment of our President.
The Oceania Sailing Federation progress and achievements over these years are recorded in these annual reports and in Andre's latest and now last Annual Report to us all. We will all sadly miss this great man and our inspirational leader in Oceania Sailing. Let us all celebrate Andre's life and live the dream and deliver the vision of the future of Oceania Sailing
In the words of his beloved wife Linda, "Andre is flying to Hawaiki love Linda". Farewell Andre.