Gipsy Moth Circles the World (The Sailor's Classics #1)

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9780071364492: Gipsy Moth Circles the World (The Sailor's Classics #1)

This work tells the story of Frances Chichester, who aged 65, set out alone from Plymouth in his 53-foot ketch "Gypsy Moth VI" in August 1966 and sailed eastward around the world through the wild Southern Ocean, stopping only once - the first to accomplish this - in Sydney. Only nine yachts had previously circumnavigated by way of Cape Horn, and of them six had been capsized or somersaulted at least once. This 28,000-mile voyage, completed in May 1967, established new records for speed and endurance, captured the imagination of the world, and earned a knighthood for Chichester upon his return.

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"Sir Francis Chichester has become a genuine hero--perhaps the greatest of the adventurers of his time."--Time

The delight in stories well told is as intrinsic to who we are as a species as toolmaking or song. And from time immemorial, few narrative genres have had the power to so stir the emotions or captivate the imagination as the true account of a lone adventurer's triumph over the titanic forces of nature. Among the handful of such tales to emerge in the twentieth century, one of the most enduring surely must be Sir Francis Chichester's account of his solitary, nine-month journey around the world in his 53-foot ketch Gipsy Moth IV. The story of how the sixty-five-year-old navigator single-handedly circumnavigated the globe, the whole way battling hostile seas as well as his boat's numerous design flaws, is a tale of superhuman tenacity and endurance to be read and reread by sailors and armchair adventurers alike.

This handsome first volume in The Sailor's Classics series restores in its entirety for a new generation of readers Francis Chichester's extraordinarily candid personal account of his adventure. First published in 1967, just months after the completion of Chichester's historic journey, Gipsy Moth Circles the World was an instant international best-seller. It inspired the first solo around-the-world race and remains a timeless testament to the spirit of adventure. The Sailor's Classics edition features a new introduction by series editor Jonathan Raban.

"A remarkable feat, a moving story of conquest by the unquenchable human spirit, a determined old man's gesture of defiance at the modern world. Such was the voyage; his book is a fine account of it with nothing left out."--Alan Villiers, Saturday Review

"Sir Francis Chichester has managed to reawaken the world to one man's capacity to seek and to endure. He has served men by living their dreams of acting with tenacity and courage under pressure."--Time

"We get the day-to-day story of the planning, the decisions, his own lively reports of what the days and nights were like, the good and bad adventures . . . This is not a log that one can sum up. It is a report by a great adventurer, who also happens to be a writer, of one of man's greatest of lonely enterprises."--Harper's

"Chichester's extraordinary feat was the result of constant unremitting attention to detail. . . . Above all [his] narrative reminds us how men can transcend their apparent physical limitations when they are doing something that they very much want to do. He admits to being frightened. . . . He would indeed be superhuman had he never wavered. But it is the Chichester who puts on a green velvet smoking jacket to celebrate his 65th birthday that one comes back to, the Chichester who sheds a tear while enjoying a bottle of Montrachet on his wedding anniversary, Chichester the happy man."--Economist

"At an age when most of us are staying in armchairs, the 65-year-old Sir Francis Chichester accomplished the fastest circumnavigation of the globe in a small sailing vessel . . . and wrote the story of his adventure in a book that will be read for as long as its great predecessors, such as Joshua Slocum."--Library Journal

"Chichester's voyage was a classic of its kind. His book is a classic document of self-punishing endurance. Chichester was in his own way an explorer in the tradition of Scott and Shackleton. Unlike Scott and Shackleton, in these pages he bares himself and his mood swings to the reader's gaze, and one is privileged to be his intimate on this loneliest and most harrowing of voyages."--from the introduction by Jonathan Raban

The Sailor's Classics presents the best writing about the sea as observed from the perspective of a small boat under sail. The stories range from pensive cruises in sheltered waters to tales of endurance and high adventure.

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