A Voyage for Madmen
In 1968, in the din of celebrations over Frances Chichester's solo round-the-world sail, the London Sunday Times announced a momentous race: Offering a prize of 5,000 pounds and a golden globe, the Times invited sailors to circumnavigate the world alone and nonstop. Even before the starting gun,... show more
In 1968, in the din of celebrations over Frances Chichester's solo round-the-world sail, the London Sunday Times announced a momentous race: Offering a prize of 5,000 pounds and a golden globe, the Times invited sailors to circumnavigate the world alone and nonstop. Even before the starting gun, this race evoked heroic effort: One competitor built his 66-foot entry in a record six weeks. (Not surprisingly, he was dubbed "Last Minute-Alex " by the media.) The race itself was no less astonishing. Two entrants ran smack into a hurricane; one capsized and lost its masts; the other hobbled into port -- and defeat. Within sight of victory, French yachtsman Bernard Moitessier impetuously changing course, left the race to go sailing! Readers worldwide charted the progress of the race, based on the sailors' radioed position reports. Near the end, an ex -engineer named Donald Crowhurst seemed to hold a comfortable lead in his trimaran. Another competitor, pressing to overcome his deficit, pushed his boat too hard and barely had time to send a distress signal before his trimaran sunk. Most surprisingly of all was the fate of Crowhurst. In July 1969, his Teignmouth Electron was discovered in the mid-Atlantic, its one-man crew nowhere in sight. It was only then that the truth was discovered: Crowhurst had faked radio messages and position reports, slowly losing his sanity as he plotted his phantom victory. This exciting narrative re-creates one of the most daring and many-layered sports events in history.
Publish date: June 4th 2002
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Pages no: 298
Edition language: English
Riveting. A window onto another world. A bunch of people with great contrasts of experience and character, doing something extraordinary in what is nearly, though not quite, the modern world. The author did a great job keeping a balance with the thrills and spills and the repeating monotony of life ...
Really enjoyed this brilliant portrayal of the 9 true 'Madmen' who attempted the first single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the Globe - pre SatNav and other electronics! An absolutely incredible story of courage, single-minded determination some deceit, tragedy and real madness. If this had be...