"Gipsy Moth" Circles the World (Sailor's Classics Library)

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'Sir Francis Chichester has become a genuine hero - perhaps the greatest of the adventurers of his time' - "Time". 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 singlehandedly 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 volume in "The Sailor's Classics" 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, and is included on "National Geographic Adventure" magazine's list of Greatest Adventure Books of All Time. Francis Chichester's 1967 singlehanded circumnavigation set a blazing record for speed. He completed the voyage with just one stop and 226 days at sea. It was an amazing performance; that he was sixty-five years old made it the more so. Chichester then sat down to write one of the great narratives of modern voyaging.'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". '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.

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About the Author:

Francis Chichester was a lifelong adventurer. In 1931, piloting a fragile single-engine Gipsy Moth, he became the first aviator to fly solo from New Zealand to Australia. He was also the first to make the rugged solo flight from New Zealand to Japan. In 1960, still weak from a near-fatal bout with lung cancer, he won the first singlehanded transatlantic yacht race and, a year later, beat his own time across to New York by seven days. In 1964, he raced alone across the Atlantic in a yacht designed for a crew of six.

Jonathan Raban is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the editor of The Oxford Book of the Sea, and author of ten critically acclaimed books, including Passage to Juneau. He is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Heinemann Award for Literature, and received the New York Times Editors' Choice for Book of the Year for Old Glory and Bad Land. He has been called (by The Guardian) "the finest writer afloat since Conrad."

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