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France mourns loss of iconic sailor

One of 10 people killed in the collision of two helicopters in Argentina, France's Florence Arthaud, was described as a "national treasure" by fellow sailor Shirley Robertson.

"Florence held the hearts of her nation when she won the Route de Rhum in 1990 — a crazy sprint across the Atlantic, alone in very fast boats, an event watched live across the country with millions coming to see their heroes set off," Mainsail presenter Robertson told CNN.

Along with Camille Muffat and Alexis Vastine, the 57-year-old Arthaud was one of three sports stars killed in the collision as two helicopters transported the athletes to a gorge in northwestern Argentina to film the reality TV show "Dropped" for French broadcaster TF1.

Despite being left in a coma after a car accident at the age of 17, Arthaud crossed the Atlantic for the first time when she was 19, going on to win a number of races including the 1997 Transpacific race that traverses the Pacific Ocean.

"Her death has moved the French sailing world," added the French Sailing Federation. "All our thoughts are with her family and her loved ones."

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