Sailing Alone Across the Atlantic Ocean - Stuart Woods - SailNet Community
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Sailing Alone Across the Atlantic Ocean - Stuart Woods

I don't know if you guys knew this but the popular author who has sold millions of books used to be a sailor. He even crossed the Atlantic Ocean!

I just got his autobiographical sailing book and am about to read it....

Blue Water, Green Skipper - Stuart Woods

Stuart Woods Revisits A Singlehand Sail Around The World/

From his Wikipedia...


"Soon after settling in Ireland in 1973, Woods took up a new hobby of sailing, an activity that had interested him since the summer of 1966 in Castine, Maine when friends had taken him on their boat. He joined Galway Bay Sailing Club, and learned to sail in one of the club's Mirrors. Woods purchased a Mirror for himself and named it Fred, after his dog. After tiring of cruising around bays he entered novice competitions around Galway Bay. Unable to find a reliable person to form his crew, Woods recruited any passing teenager to join him. He entered the week-long National Championships at Lough Derg, and finished thirty-ninth out of a fleet of sixty. It was Wood's best result of the season.

The following year, Woods sailed in as many races as he could leading up to the Mirror National Championships in Sligo; After retiring from the first race, he finished in twenty-fifth place out of seventy boats in the second race, and finished eighth in the third race. The fourth race was canceled due to high winds and the number of teenaged entrants. He finished the event twenty-ninth out of seventy boats and he and his crewmate were given a special prize for being the oldest and heaviest crew. For the rest of the season he sailed around Ireland with a friend on a Snapdragon 24, and decided to compete in the 1976 Observer Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race (OSTAR).

In the fall of 1974, Woods's grandfather died and bequeathed him enough money to buy a yacht suitable for the race. He ordered a Golden Shamrock-based yacht from Ron Holland, and worked with him on designing the interior suitable for single-handeded racing and Woods' personal needs. Since his previous sailing experience consisted of "racing a ten-foot plywood dinghy on Sunday afternoons against small children, losing regularly", Woods spent eighteen months learning more about sailing and celestial navigation while his yacht was being built in Cork. He gained more boating experience by sailing from Ireland to England as part of the crew on STY Creidne, a training ship purchased by the Irish Government for the Irish Naval Service, Irish Mist II, Ron Holland's Golden Apple, and as many other yachts that would accept him, amassing 1200 miles of offshore experience. He entered the August 1975 Multihull Offshore Cruising and Racing Association (MOCRA) Azores Race and asked fellow Galway Bay Sailing Club member Commander Bill King to join him.

In order to finance his MOCRA Azores Race and the OSTAR, Woods met with publishers about writing a book about his experience in the OSTAR, organized sponsorship for the races, and sent invitations and press releases about the launch of his yacht to the local and national Irish newspapers, RT…, The Observer, and Yachting Monthly. Golden Harp was launched June 4, 1975. "Golden" was chosen so it followed the naming tradition of Ron Holland's other designs, the Golden Apple, Golden Shamrock, and Golden Delicious, and "Harp" as it has long been used as a symbol of Ireland.

Woods, King, and their third crewmember, Shirley Clifford, left from Portsmouth, England for The Azores in August 1975. Clifford, who had complained of feeling ill the day before the race began, continued to feel worse so Woods and King dropped her off on a coastguard boat near Plymouth, England on the second day of the race. They arrived in Horta after sailing 1400 miles for fifteen-and-a-half days. They were the smallest and last boat to finish, other than four boats that had retired from the race, but were disqualified for not completing with the full crew complement that had begun the race. King returned to Ireland almost immediately, but Woods spent a month in Horta before sailing Golden Harp the 1300 miles back to Ireland single-handedly in order to meet the OSTAR's qualifying cruise requirement of a minimum five-hundred miles.

Upon his return to Ireland in the late fall of 1975, Woods appeared on the Irish version of To Tell the Truth with Ron Holland and John McWilliam. All three men claimed to be Woods, and a panel had to guess who out of whom was lying. Only one of the four panellists guessed correctly. Preparing for his OSTAR race, he petitioned the OSTAR Committee to be considered an Irish entry, as although he is an American, he had been living in Ireland for some time, had learned to sail from Irish yachtsmen on Irish boats, and his yacht was Irish designed and built. The committee agreed to allow him to be entered under Irish colors.

The OSTAR race began at Plymouth, England on June 5, 1976. He completed his passage to Newport, Rhode Island in forty-five days, finishing 65th out of 125 boats, though after handicaps was declared 45th.

In August 1979 he competed in the 1979 Fastnet race on a friend's yacht. The race was marred by a huge storm which resulted in fifteen competitors and four observers losing their lives. Woods and his host crew finished in good order, with little damage. In the fall of 1979 he skippered his friend's yacht back across the Atlantic Ocean, with a crew of six, calling at the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands, and finishing at Antigua in the Caribbean."

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Re: Sailing Alone Across the Atlantic Ocean - Stuart Woods

I've read lots of his books, if he is the "Stone Barrington" Stuart Woods. Never knew about his other life.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.

"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
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Re: Sailing Alone Across the Atlantic Ocean - Stuart Woods

I have a copy of one of his earliest novels "Run Before the Wind" which draws heavily from his sailing exploits. I'd like to get a copy of "Blue Water, Green Skipper' his memoir of singlehanded sailing.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:

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atlantic ocean , author , blue water green skipper , sailing , stuart woods

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