Anyone ever read about Donald Crowhurst, bid to sail around the world? - SailNet Community

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Old 08-19-2009
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Anyone ever read about Donald Crowhurst, bid to sail around the world?

Was on TV last night as sort of a documentary (PBS, can't remember the station?)

Riveting story:
Donald Crowhurst - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

His "righting" system for trimaran is interesting (see the article above):
Quote:
To improve the safety of the boat, Crowhurst had planned to add an inflatable buoyancy bag on the top of the mast to prevent capsizing; the bag would be activated by water sensors on the hull designed to detect an impending capsize. This innovation would hold the boat horizontal, and a clever arrangement of pumps would allow him to flood the uppermost outer hull, which would (in conjunction with wave action) pull the boat upright. His scheme was to prove these devices by sailing round the world with them, then go into business manufacturing the system.
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Old 08-19-2009
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He is the one who got the OSTAR started. I have never seen the documentry, but the book is a fascinating read. Some just weren't meant to be alone in failure......i2f
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Old 08-19-2009
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I think you may be talking about the documentary movie DEEP WATER, which I've seen. The movie led me to read about the events, as I couldn't believe the stupidity involved in this fiasco.

The story left me disliking Crowhurst, as he was a cheat, a thief and a fraud. His totally unprepared attempt to compete in the circumnavigation put the lives of others in peril and may have contributed to the suicide of one of his competitors in the race.

Paul
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Old 08-19-2009
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& we all know Bernard really won that race. Robin Knox was gifted the win.....i2f
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Old 08-19-2009
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Crowhurst sailed Teignmouth Electron a Piver designed Tri.
He was probably mentally ill already before setting off, so it is a bit hard to judge him like that.
On the Moitessier comment. Yes, there was a good chance that he would have won BUT he chose to stop racing and sail to Tahiti, so Robin Knox-Johnston did win, and should be credited for that IMHO.
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He did get credit for it. I just stated it was gifted to him by Bernard. I do not think that fact can be denied. He went onto sail for the sake of sailing, and covered more sea miles than Robin Knox non stop......i2f
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I2F, then we agree. Bernard was an amazing sailor!

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Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
He did get credit for it. I just stated it was gifted to him by Bernard. I do not think that fact can be denied. He went onto sail for the sake of sailing, and covered more sea miles than Robin Knox non stop......i2f
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AE28 View Post
I couldn't believe the stupidity involved in this fiasco.

The story left me disliking Crowhurst, as he was a cheat, a thief and a fraud. His totally unprepared attempt to compete in the circumnavigation put the lives of others in peril and may have contributed to the suicide of one of his competitors in the race.

Paul
It is a rather strange episode and the boat's fate ended strangely as well.
Here's a couple of pics and some other tidbits of info on the 35 yo rotting hulk on Cayman Brac...

Bracís land wreck makes it to TV fame
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Old 08-19-2009
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The book I believe is The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst. I read it years ago. It's a fascinating study of a man getting in over his head, unable to abandon the race before it even starts, and then slowing going mad. At first he fakes his reports, sailing in circles in the Atlantic, but then his log entries become progressively more delusional rather than simply deceptive as he moves toward some state of godliness. The authors thought he jumped overboard clutching some nav devices, maybe a sextant and/or chronometer. Others might remember better. I seem to recall that Chichester thought something didn't smell right. One of the best sea stories ever written.
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Viking,

We never disagreed. IMHO Bernard was a far greater writer than sailor. His passion for the sea was like a love novel in the way he expressed his feelings about his surroundings.

He did learn to become quite the sailor, but in the beginning he did have his misfortunes. Just as the misfortune of Joshua lost in Cabo in a late hurricane......i2f
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