Always a small boat sailor, I have never ventured far from a sailboat with a centerboard. I like, if not love, to be able to fly across a lake in strong winds to gybe, capsize and recover. With a sailing dinghy you are close to the action. Feedback is instant. You make a mistake and you pay for it. Over the years I have paid my way to being a better sailor. I have spent a good amount of time swimming next to my overturned boat. No harm is done. You get knocked down and you get up again. That’s not the case with the brave men of the around the world yacht race, The Golden Globe. This is no relation to the entertainment awards. This race took place in 1968 and was a serious business. There was a serious potential for a knock down without the ability to get back up again!
A Voyage for Madmen gives a detailed account of the preparations, difficulties, lies and lives of the competitors. The men of the Golden Globe put to sea alone with only supplies, sometimes a radio and maybe a seaworthy vessel. If they finished a solo nonstop circumnavigation it would be the first in history. An achievement that drove these men to attempt a feat that is challenging even by today’s standards with million dollar, sponsored, sometimes crewed yachts. It is an impressive story that I have enjoyed this far and highly recommend it. It’s interesting as a sailor but also as a human being. The challenges involved, character required and bold action throughout the book is a tail of adventure, similar to that of explorers and mountaineers.
Get your sailing and adventure fix with A Voyage for Madmen. I highly recommend it!