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Who would you put as your top sailing hero of all time, someone who inspired/inspire you, someone who was/is a pioneer, someone who didn't give up against all odds. and why them?

For me it has to be Sir Francis Chicester
the reason, well Gipsy moth 4 he asked for a a boat no bigger than 30 foot with a single mast and they gave him a 52 foot Ketch. In his own words she was Cantankerous and still he achieved

Fastest voyage around the world by any small vessel
Longest non stop passage that had been made by a small sailing vessel (15,000 miles)
More than twice the distance of the previous longest passage by a singlehander
Twice broke the record for a singlehander's weeks run by more than 100 miles
Established a record for singlehanded speed by sailing 1,400 miles in 8 days
and much more

and when asked why he embarked on his circumnavigation in Gipsy Moth IV, Sir Francis Chichester was quoted as saying:

" Because it intensifies life"

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Lets have your thoughts
 

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Chichester is a good choice...I recently read the book "Voyage for Madmen," and now have an amazing appreciation for anyone (Vendee Globe sailors, etc) who has the courage & mental strength to sail alone around the world, especially nonstop. I just can't imagine.

I also just read Lansing's book about Shackleton's Endurance. The trials those men endured are unbelievable...and Shackleton's leadership was truly inspiring to me..both as a sailor..and a business professional. The odds that that whole group encountered & conquered are tremendous....seriously, every time I think I'm suffering...I need to recall the images from that book.

Another is Nick Scandone...to overcome what he did to win a gold medal in Beijing this year is awesome. Rest in Peace, Nick...you've influenced & inspired many to reach further.
 

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Going back, Robin Knox-Johnstone, first solo nonstop RTW racer, Myles and Beryl Smeeton for their cruising adventures.

More recently, anyone who has managed to compete in any of the solo RTW races and manage those incredibly powerful boats alone.
 

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While I would not disagree about any of the great sailors above, I would have to say that my inspiration was Beth Leonard/Evans Starzinger since they epitomized the cruising lifestyle and wrote clearly about its' joys and its' "realities" and continue to do it as a cruising couple.
Beth's book "Following Seas" is one of my inspirational favorites and her Voygers Handbook is one of the most practical and well reasoned "how to" books out there.

Has anyone read her latest "Blue Horizons" that would care to provide a review?
 

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Cam, on my mom's side. His son (my grandfather) who I knew well, was a cabinet maker. With the same grit and determination. One Christmas, (shortly before his death) He give each one of his kids a solid walnut Grandfather"s clock that he hand made. There were 8 kids on my mom's side.http://
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My sailing hero is a woman by the name of Kay Cottee, she was the first woman to sail solo around the world non stop. she is an Australian.
 

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Slocum, Shackleton, Bligh

Slocum, what he did in those times was amazing. A 36' something wooden boat with little navigation aides.

Shakleton's story is unbelivebale. If you were to read it today you would say, that is impossible. (The Ross Sea Party is another amazing story of survival; although it is not really sailing related)

Bligh, although his crew mutinied, he sailed his small launch over three thousand six hundred miles to reach safety. He was than exonerated at his Court Marshall and went on to continue his career. The Royal Navy was one heck of a hard life in the late 1700's.
 

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Moitessier for being incredibly skilled and completely individualistic, the Smeatons and the Hiscocks, for cruising when cruising was 99% unassisted and very basic, and Yves Parlier (the guy who cooked his own carbon mast repair by beaching an Open 60 on a sub-antarctic island!) have to be in there.

Alan Villiers, Irving Johnson and Eric Newby, for their first-hand accounts of the last, grueling days of commercial sail have to also rank.
 

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Mike,
No BS?

Thats an amazing story!
Never heard of your Great Grandpa, but I know now.
 
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