A voyage for 21st Century madmen? What drives the Golden Globe skippers

A voyage for 21st Century madmen? What drives the Golden Globe skippers


A voyage for madmen, so was the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race deemed. When the first non-stop race around the world began in 1968 few thought a man could sail around the world alone. The common opinion was that the limits of human endurance would be reached long before 30,000 miles around the planet could be completed.

In some respects those early critics were tragically correct. Donald Crowhurst was famously driven beyond the edge of reason during the race, falsifying position reports before his presumed suicide. Bernard Moitessier felt the siren call of the sea so strongly he continued on alone, unable to return to western life or even his family. Six others failed, one – Nigel Tetley – after his yacht sank beneath him.

But one man and one yacht proved them wrong. Robin Knox-Johnston and Suhaili showed it could be done when he completed his solo circumnavigation in 312 days. 

Since then more than 200 people have sailed around the world alone, non-stop (for context, some 530 have gone into space, and 306 have summited K2).

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