On July 1, Dutch yacht designer Frans Maas and his friend and crew, Freddy Franssens died when the yacht, Capella, capsized after losing her keel during the Genisol Light Vessel Race off Ostend, Belgium. Crew member Hannes Goegebeur is still missing and feared dead. Three other crew were rescued after clinging to the overturned hull before being found by a passing dredger. All were suffering from hypothermia and were hospitalized in Bruge for treatment.
The yacht Capella, designed and owned by Frans Maas. The Maritime and Rescue Coordination Centre in Belgium told local media that it received no distress call from the yacht before or after the capsize.
Frans Maas was Dutch yacht designer, builder and ocean racer. He was an early proponent of glass fiber construction. His designs achieved great success in racing in the 1960’s during the heyday of the RORC rule. He also designed more than 18 classes of production sailboats in his career. Maas was 80.