In 1968, nine sailors set off on the most daring race ever held: to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe nonstop. It was a feat that had never been accomplished and one that would forever change the face of sailing. Ten months later, only one of the nine men would cross the finish line and earn fame, wealth, and glory. For the others, the reward was madness, failure, and death.
In this extraordinary book, Peter Nichols chronicles a contest of the individual against the sea, waged at a time before cell phones, satellite dishes, and electronic positioning systems. A Voyage for Madmen is a tale of sailors driven by their own dreams and demons, of horrific storms in the Southern Ocean, and of those riveting moments when a split-second decision means the difference between life and death.
In 1968 there remained one major nautical challenge yet to be accomplished: sailing single-handedly nonstop around the world. Nine men set out to achieve it in one of the most widely publicized yacht races. What could possess nine otherwise sane and responsible men to risk their lives, careers, and the well-being of their families by undertaking such a reckless endeavor? Nichols introduces the reader to the contestants, giving a vivid portrayal of the men attempting the feat. He expertly tells their individual stories in great detail: why they entered the race, what they had staked on winning, and their struggles at sea. He weaves their story together to form a comprehensive account of the race that reads like a suspense novel. Readers will eagerly turn the pages to discover how some were defeated by the ocean or the race’s harsh rules and the lengths to which one contestant went to be declared the winner. An interesting slice of history that makes for a worthy seagoing adventure story. Gavin Quinn
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