"Lord, I am so small, and Your ocean is so great ..."
It was an unprecedented race for pioneer fame, national prestige and financial prize. To sail alone on a sailing boat around the world without stopping is a super serious challenge for a yachtsman even today. What can we say about the 1960s, when there was still no GPS, no radar, no satellite communications; when you were alone with the Ocean - in the truest sense of the word.
They were desperate guys. And this article is dedicated to them.
One of the prerequisites for the Golden Globe Race 1968-69. was the passage of the "three great capes": Horn, Good Hope and Luvin
The riders, regardless of the sport, have an axiom: in order to finish first, you must at least finish.
There were nine of them at the start, and only one at the finish. Total loneliness, constant danger, nervous breakdowns, spiritual search, mystification, the will to win at any cost, suicide. The first round-the-world solo non-stop regatta proved to be a strong test. So strong that, despite the huge resonance, it has not been repeated in this format for 50 years. About how it went Golden Globe Race 1968-69 - in this material.
On April 22, 2019, the yachting community celebrated a significant date: half a century has passed since the day when man first made a non-stop circumnavigation of the world at speed. We remembered and honored Sir Robin Knox-Johnston - the legendary yachtsman who circled the globe non-stop in 312 days during the race The Golden Globe Race 1968-1969.
This is how our memory works - we remember the first, but not the next ones. However, there were nine of them and each deserves its place in this story: Robin Knox-Johnston, Bernard Muatessier, John Ridgway, Charles Bliss, Nigel Tateley, Bill King, Loic Fougeron, Alex Carozzo and Donald Crowhurst.
First, in the 16th century, people first circled the globe on a sailing ship. Then man went around the globe alone - at the end of the XIX. Then, in the second half of the twentieth century, alone with one stop. The next challenge was clear: only a non-stop single round-the-world voyage at speed under sail could break this record. On May 28, 1967 in Plymouth, England, a Brit completed his solo circumnavigation Francis Chichester... The journey took 226 days, the only stop he made along the way was Sydney, Australia. Chichester's achievement had a deafening effect. Great Britain, the "mistress of the seas", was proud of her son, the rest of the world was jealous. In a few weeks the queen Elizabeth II granted Francis Chichester the title of knight, for the ceremony the same sword was used with which the queen Elizabeth I knighted himself Francis Drake.
Behind sir Francis Chichester followed many admiring eyes. Among them were those who were already planning to break the set record. Seeking to capitalize on this attention, the English newspaper Sunday Times, who also supported Chichester's expedition, wanted to sponsor a yachtsman capable of completing a completely non-stop circumnavigation. The problem was to define this - the newspaper did not want to invest in someone who did not win.
At the age of 65, Francis Chichester embarked on a solo, one-stop, high-speed circumnavigation that became the prologue to the Golden Globe Race 1968-69
Until the point is, King, a retired Royal Navy submarine officer, enlisted the support of the newspaper Express. Ridgewaywho sailed the Atlantic in a rowboat with Blisom, got help from the publication The people... Tatley managed to negotiate with a music company Music for pleasure (Music for pleasure) about her product placement under the motto "Around the World with 80 Symphonies". Donald CrowhurstThe “weekend yachtsman” clearly didn’t come across as a sailor worth betting on. Also - the irony of fate! - did not impress the management Sunday Times and amateur yachtsman Robin Knox-Johnstonwho contacted the newspaper but was refused. Ultimately he was sponsored Sunday mirror.
Sunday Times found herself in an awkward position. There were no free Britons left, and she did not want to sponsor non-Britons for image and patriotic reasons. There was only one way to get out of this situation - to take control of the entire race.
The publication asked Francis Chichester to announce an unprecedented sailing regatta: around the world alone, non-stop. The challenge was thrown - and the challenge was accepted.
The Sunday Times took over the race and instituted two prizes: first place and best speed
There weren't many rules. One on board, no help, no stops, and the passage of the "three great capes": Horn, Good Hope and Luvin. Any boat, starting between June 1 and October 31, 1968, to cross the harsh Southern Ocean in summer. Finish at any British port. Two prizes: a special prize for the first to finish the race and 5,000 pounds to the one who shows the best time (in current prices it is about 60 thousand pounds).
Sir Francis Chichester, a member of the regatta jury, asked the participants to adequately assess their strengths, given the enormous difficulty and danger of such an undertaking.
And then this story breaks up into nine different destinies.
June 1, 1968, the first possible day, left Irish Inishmore John Ridgway on a 30-foot sloop English Rose IV... Literally immediately, a ship from one of the film crews crashed into him. The incident, while not causing serious damage, was clearly not a good sign. It soon became apparent that the vessel was not suitable for such a voyage. Also, it turned out that Ridgeway painfully endures loneliness. At Madeira he met a friend to whom he handed over a photo and the first logbooks. And in return I took the mail and newspapers from him. And right there in the newspaper I read about another rule that had appeared, which forbade taking anything on board - including mail and newspapers.
In 1966, John Ridgway and Charles Blees (another Golden Globe Race) crossed the North Atlantic in a rowboat
Technically, Ridgeway was disqualified due to ignorance of this rule. The moment is undoubtedly debatable. He continues sailing in an even gloomier frame of mind. Out into the South Atlantic. The deck of the boat is gradually deteriorating, in addition, the radio transmitter is out of order. Ahead is a meeting with the Southern Ocean, for which Ridgway is not ready either technically or morally.
July 16 John Ridgway admits defeat and heads to Brazilian Recife, where he ends his participation in the regatta on July 21, 1968. A former naval officer leaves an entry in the logbook: “I have never given up in my life. Now I feel empty ... ”.
So there are eight of them left.
June 8, a week after his former teammate and current rival in the race, from Humble comes out Charles Blies on a 30-foot sloop Dytiscus III... He is the only member who has no sailing experience at all. Despite this, Blis bypasses the Cape of Good Hope and ends up in the Indian Ocean. The autopilot mechanism fails there. You need to ask for details, but you can't. Having somehow eliminated the breakdown, Blis continues the race.
However, the question is no longer even in the regatta as such - the question is within the personal limits of capabilities and fortitude. However, the sloop does not feel very confident in the Indian Ocean. The boat turns over regularly, one day - 11 times. The autopilot breaks again.
Leaving is not giving up. Charles Blies will make his solo trip around the world in a few years.
Bliss decides that she will return to this challenge - on a better prepared boat and for her own sake, not racing. On 13 September he heads for East London, a city in South Africa, where September 17, 1968 ceases to participate in Golden Globe Race.
So there are seven of them left.
Alex Carozzo went out on his 66 foot keche Gancia americano from Coase English on the last permitted day, October 31st. He entered the race by accident and quite extravagantly. Already participating in the singles race in the Atlantic, he met there with Ridgway, who started at the Golden Globe. Probably, this meeting motivated the Italian to join this ambitious venture. He returned to England, and according to his own project received in 7 (!) Weeks a ship, ready for a round-the-world trip.
Ketch Gancia Americano Italian Alex Carozzo
He was an experienced yachtsman with experience of transoceanic sailing. His ketch was the largest among the participants in the regatta. and was ready to show good speed characteristics - if the skipper alone copes with the controls.
However, this sailor was not knocked out of the race by the ship's breakdown or psychological distress - his physical health let him down. In the Bay of Biscay Alex Carozzo felt severe pain in the stomach. He was diagnosed with an ulcer. It was impossible to continue the race in such a state. The boat was towed to the Portuguese Portowhere on November 14, 1968, just two weeks after the release, Alex Carozzo completed participation in Golden Globe Race.
So there are six of them left.
Bill king left Plymouth on August 24, in a 42-foot junk Galway blazer ii... For the 58-year-old commander of the Royal Submarine Fleet, the race was not so much a competition as an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the oceans, which he had previously seen mainly from an underwater perspective. As he himself said, it was a kind of psychological rehabilitation after 15 years of service on submarines. He had planned a solo trip around the world before that. Golden globe race became just a convenient excuse not to postpone the idea on the back burner.
King took on board the simplest food and many books - The Bible, the Koran, Buddhist scriptures, Tolstoy's novels ... He admitted that he had never experienced depression while sailing, because he was fascinated by the beauty that surrounded him.
Bill King saw the race as a kind of "psychological rehabilitation" after years of service in the submarine fleet
However, the rigging of ships of the type "junk" has its own specifics. They do not have shrouds, which is why the mountings of the masts are subject to increased loads. One day northeast of Gough Island in the South Atlantic, King's junk was overturned by 15-meter waves. Both masts were broken. There was no way to continue the race. Galway blazer ii was towed to Cape Town, South Africa.
So there are five of them left.
He sailed from Plymouth on 22 August in a 30-foot sailboat with gaff rigging. Captain browne... Fougeron was a friend Bernard Muatessier, they went out on the same day, and both refused to take radio transmitters on board.
Loic Fougeron retired from the race not so much due to damage to the vessel as out of common sense
On October 30, he passed the archipelago Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic, following King several hundred miles ahead. On Halloween, they are caught in a violent storm, and Fougeron's boat capsizes at night. It seems that "The end is coming, that the sea will crush me, will not allow me to appear on the surface again", - Fougeron will write down later. The ship is intact, but he decides that he has enough trials - and sets a course for Saint Helenacompleting the race.
So there are four of them.
Arguments about whether to win Muatesier Knox-Johnston, had remained in the race, is still ongoing. And, like all disputes containing the condition "if", they do not make sense.
This thin, if not puny, Frenchman was one of those people who are usually labeled "strange" in the mass consciousness. His 39-foot ketch Joshua was named after an American Joshua Slocama - the first person to make a solitary circumnavigation in 1895-1898. He was born in French Indochina, was known as a "tramp of the South Seas", did not like and did not understand Europe.
A romantic, unmercenary and idealist in love with the sea, he started on August 22, when Knox Johnston has been in the ocean for 69 days. With extensive experience in single transitions, Muatesier showed excellent time, walking more than twice as fast as Knox-Johnston. By the beginning of December Knox Johnston fought headwinds in the South Pacific, and Muatesier approached Tasmania. Mid january at Cape Horn they were separated by only 20 days... While maintaining such dynamics, he could show not only the best time - but also come to England at the same time as Knox-Johnston.
Without formally completing the race, Muatesier, nevertheless, did not lose it - at some point he just went to his personal trip around the world.
However, is the harsh and beautiful infinity of the ocean worth the vanity in which people on earth are immersed? Even if fame and money are your reward? Bernard Muatessier answers himself to this question: no, not worth it.
The commercialization of sailing is incompatible with Muatessier's vision. After experiencing depression and doing yoga, he uses a homemade sling to send a message on board a passing ship, in which he says that drops out of the race because he is happy at sea. However, this is not the end of his circumnavigation: Muatesier makes one and a half turns around the globe and, having covered 37.5 thousand nautical miles in 10 months, finishes in his personal regatta at Tahiti.
So there were three of them.
Nigel Tatley left Plymouth on 16 September in a serial 22-foot trimaran Victress, where he lived with his wife and children. The trimaran could reach an impressive speed of up to 22 knots, but it also had a significant drawback - in the event of a rollover, it could not be returned to its original position. Moreover, an ordinary serial, intended for simple family transitions, was not ready for such a race. But Tatley had no other ship. A restrained and smart naval officer, probably the most methodical of all the participants, he was a gourmet and aesthete. On board Victress had a great speaker system that was the reason Tatley was backed by a classical music label.
Tetley raced a serial 22-foot trimaran that served as his and his family's home
Despite the problems with the boat, Tatley looked after her carefully and steadily moved forward, showing a good average time. He could not finish first - but he could take the prize for the best speed.
May 20, 1969, in the North Atlantic, near the Azores and just a thousand nautical miles from home, Tatley got caught in a severe storm. Early the next morning, he was awakened by the sound of a tree breaking. The left float fell off, making a hole in the main body Victress... The water was coming in too quickly. Nigel Tatley managed to transmit the signal Mayday, to which he immediately received an answer, and left the ship just before it sank. On the evening of May 21, he was picked up drifting on a life raft.
So there were only two of them.
However, “two” is not the most correct formulation. Crowhurst did not race, but simulated itstanding in the South Atlantic, forging logbooks and hoping to win a £ 5,000 prize for best speed. He hoped that no one would carefully check the reports of the third finisher, and this would give him the opportunity to hide the deception. But after Tatley was eliminated and Chichester announced that he would study Crowhurst's route, that plan collapsed.
About him - like Robin Knox-Johnston - most of all written and filmed in the context of this regatta. A swindler, a deceiver, a madman on the one hand. And on the other hand, a person who believes in his own, albeit strange, ideas, who wants happiness and prosperity for his family.
Donald Crowhurst expected his 40-foot Teignmouth Electron trimaran to deliver impressive speed, but things went wrong from the start.
He wanted to be the "ideologue" of such a race. But Sunday Times ignored his idea - just a year later to announce it under the impression of a record Francis Chichester... He wanted to hit the road on Gypsy moth iv, Chichester's boat - but was refused due to lack of experience.
Finally, he found a sponsor for the project of his own trimaran, mortgaging a company and a house for this - and hoping to cover the debts from the prize money. But everything went wrong from the very beginning. And this "not so" ultimately led him to a choice between life and death, deception and dishonor of his family.
History Donald Crowhurst well known to those interested in yachting. Especially thanks to the movie "Race of the Century" (in original "The Mercy" - "Mercy", but also with the value "Forgiveness"), released in 2018.
Probably the most impressive thing about Crowhurst’s fate is not the unsightly part where he was going to forge the logbooks by faking his trip around the world. And the one where he, already experiencing a mental disorder, "playing chess with cosmic beings" and reflecting on his position, decides to abandon his venture. And 20 minutes before the suicide, he makes an entry in the logbook: "There is only one perfect beauty in the world - this is the beauty of truth."
His story is best known - such is the fate of the winners. Finished the race Golden globe race... Gave the money won to the family Donald Crowhurst... He became a Knight of the Order of the British Empire, and then a knight. I went (and does!) A lot under sail. I recently celebrated my 80th birthday.
It was he, a native of the merchant fleet, who, according to journalists, was "a very weak contender for victory," on his old-fashioned but reliable kecheSuhaili, the only one passed that crazy regatta to the end.
Many years, Sir Robin!
The legendary yachtsman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, remains today a hymn to the human spirit - and yachting!
John Ridgway founded School of Adventure, and in 1977-78. took part in Whitbread round the world race... 1983-84 together with another yachtsman on a keche English Rose VI, made a non-stop circumnavigation, setting the record of his time - 203 days.
Charles Blies indeed returned to his circumnavigation in 1971, becoming the first person to go non-stop in 292 days against the trade winds and currents. For this he received the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Walked a lot, participated in other races and set records.
Alex Carozzo built boats, wrote books, participated in ocean races of multihulls. In 1990 on a homemade boat Zentime passed the Atlantic along the Columbus route.
Bill king in 1973, after several attempts, he completed his circumnavigation. He died in 2012 at the age of 102, becoming the oldest submarine commander in a WWII veteran.
Bill King completed his trip around the world with several attempts and lived to be 102
Loic Fougeron returned to normal life, and continued to sell in a more relaxed mode. He wrote several books, died in 2013 at the age of 86.
Bernard Muatessier never got along with civilization. He defended nature, got to know himself, interrupted himself with various earnings, especially after he lost his ketch in a shipwreck in 1982. He has written several books, the most famous of which is - "Long way"... Left the world in 1994.
Bernard Muatessier did not get along with the world of his day, remaining in the eyes of the majority of the "eccentric"
Nigel Tatley received a consolation prize of 1000 pounds for participation in Golden globe race... But this was not enough to build a new trimaran. Tatley was looking for money, the book he wrote sold poorly. In February 1972, he left home and disappeared. He was found hanged three days later in the forest. The police left the conclusion open, finding no sufficient evidence for the suicide theory.
History Donald Crowhurst quite well known for the film "The Mercy" (in Russian translation - "Race of the Century"), in which Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz played
A boat Knox Johnston, Suhaili, still belongs to him and stands at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, UK. Restored boat Muatessier, Joshua, is in the Maritime Museum in La Rochelle, France.
Golden globe race became the impetus for other, less harsh, solitary circumnavigations: BOC Challenge (today - Velux 5 Oceans Race) and Vendée Globe... The second Golden globe race started 50 years after the first - July 1, 2018. We will write about it next time.
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