Saturday, January 28, 2006

High and Dry

Talking of boats out of their element -- in particular boats built to race around the world -- here is a picture of the final resting place of the Teignmouth Electron, rotting away on the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac -- picture by Cayman Net News.

This trimaran was built for the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first single-handed round the world yacht race. Indeed the Golden Globe Trophy was offered for the first person to sail non-stop single-handed around the world, a feat never before achieved. And there was a separate money prize for the fastest non-stop single-handed circumnavigation.

Nine competitors took up the challenge. Only one, Robin Knox-Johnston, finished. The skipper of Teignmouth Electron, Donald Crowhurst, was at one time thought to be leading the race. But it was subsequently discovered that he had been reporting false positions in his radio reports and had never left the South Atlantic. (This was, of course, in the days before GPS, Virtual Spectator and almost real-time video reports from round the world racers.)

Crowhurst's boat was eventually found abandoned in mid-Atlantic along with logbooks showing his increasing irrationality of mind. It is assumed that he committed suicide by jumping overboard once he realised he could not succeed in his gigantic hoax.


Anonymous said...

A sad end for a boat.

EVK4 said...

I assume you've read "A Voyage for Madmen" by Peter Nichols?

bonnie said...

I'd read about him before somewhere. Very spooky story, and the photo gives me the shivers.

Anonymous said...

very interesting and, as Bonnie said, spooky at the same time

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