Once known as Hartley18
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Originally Posted by tdw
Ok so we all accept that Joshua Slocum was the first to solo circumnavigate.
Francis Chichester did it making only one stop.
Robin Knox-Johnson won the first Whitbread non-stop race.
Moitessier pulled out when leading....having already crossed his outbound path....so he completed a solo circumnavigation before Knox-Johnston.
But Tetley , whose boat fell apart before he could finish and who would have undoubtedly won had crossed his outbound path before either K-J or BM so really he was the first to successfully complete a solo non-stop circumnavigation.
edit - stupid wombat. Tetley was behind Knox Johnston on the water although ahead on corrected time so both KJ and BM completed a circumnavigation before him. I'd not allowed for the staggered starting times.
It's tricky making comparisions like that - don't forget that "back in those days" positions were calculated by the sailor himself and radioed back to London when reception was possible.
Everyone knows that Crowhurst rigged/mis-calculated/whatever some of his positions - who's to say the others didn't either at one stage or another? Without GPS, no-one will ever know for sure.. including the skippers themselves. (KJ talks about that quite a bit in his book)
The only thing that's certain is that KJ, sailing an ordinary boat - not an expensive racer like some of the others had - left England at a particular date and time and arrived back at a particular date and time. What with the Doldrums, storms and other hazards to navigation, who crossed where when doesn't really mean much...
I'm sure that if Moitessier thought
he could win, he would have at least crossed the finish line - but he didn't and the rest is history.
BTW: KJ nearly stuffed it up when he ran aground in NZ (one stop?) and some helpful locals got too helpful - but he managed to extricate himself and sail on...
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"