A LYMINGTON rugby team held a minute’s silence in memory of Zane Gills, an international pro-sailor living in the town who died in Barcelona over Christmas.
At their game at Woodside park on Saturday, Lymington Mariners also played the Australian national anthem to honour the 37-year-old who was born in Tasmania and made his home locally with his wife, Sarah.
Teammate Nick Bubb said the turnout in Zane’s memory made it the club’s biggest ever squad in an “especially poignant” match against Millbrook RFC, which also drew spectators from the local sailing community.
Nick said: “Zane was one of the nicest guys anyone could ever hope to meet and a strong, reliable and wonderful teammate. He is sorely missed by all those that knew him and will always be a Mariner.”
As reported in the A&T, Zane’s death was announced on New Year’s Eve by Sarah Gills, who described him as an “incredible man”.
During his career he took on some of the biggest world sailing events, including the demanding Volvo Ocean Race, and the news prompted tributes from across the globe.
The Guardia Civil in Barcelona told the A&T this week that it was treating his death as an accident, pending a post-mortem examination.
A spokesperson confirmed that his body was discovered underneath the boat he had moored at Port Vell with his brother, who raised the alarm at about 7pm on 27th December.
Zane was found about 10 metres below the surface at around 11pm after a search by the marine team, he added.
When his death was announced, Mariners chair Simon Olliff commented: “He was revered as the best of men by all the Mariners who trained, played and celebrated with him.”
Sarah has requested any photos or footage of Zane to be contributed for a video in his memory. High resolution material can be sent via WeTransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.