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Mike Birch, inaugural winner of Route du Rhum, dies at 90


SAINT-MALO, France (AP) — Canadian skipper Mike Birch has died at the age of 90. He was the first winner of the Route du Rhum solo trans-Atlantic race. The event’s organizers said he died “peacefully” during Tuesday night at his home in northwest France. Birch entered sailing legend back in 1978 when he claimed the inaugural edition of the Rhum by just 98 seconds. In his 12-meter trimaran Birch pipped Frenchman Michel Malinovsky’s bigger and more powerful monohull to the line.

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