Thursday, January 20, 2011

A voyage for madmen (Peter Nichols)

This gripping book recounts the extraordinary story of the first single-handed non-stop round the world race. In 1968, British newspaper The Sunday Times sponsored the event – this was before the advent of the GPS, autopilots and radars on sailing yachts. Nine men set out for this mad adventure – not all of them came back and, for those who did, the experience certainly changed them forever. Their epic voyage had them sail in raging seas and wild storms, faced with the ultimate and ever-present terror of single-handed sailors: falling overboard. At times dozens, if not hundreds, of miles away from any hope of rescue, these valiant yachtsmen endured months of cramped living conditions and sleep deprivation while experiencing what is probably the most extreme and absolute form of isolation. Their heroic endeavour is a truly extraordinary feat of courage and bravery and a celebration of the human spirit – inspiring.

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