Hans was only 3 years older than I am now. He also has a young daughter (his is 11 months old, mine is 5 1/2 months old).
I suppose as armchair and internet sailors we had become used to these boats sailing around the world at incredible speeds with no casualties. Given a few changes in my own sailing history I might have been in Hans' place. Perhaps my summer job with Young America could have become more than it was...maybe if I had taken that job in Maine as a sailing coach and sailmaker...I might have had the opportunity to sail in the Volvo Ocean Race.
Although Hans' tragic death makes me feel thankful for my safe life here in Massachusetts, where the most dangerous thing I deal with is the traffic on I-95 on the way to work, I am still envious of his courage in pursuing his dream.
It's tough when someone so young loses their life...but at least we can take comfort in the fact that Hans was chasing his dream.