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Gipsy Moth Circles The World
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From time immemorial, few narrative genres have had the power to so stir the emotions or captivate the imagination as the true account of a lone adventurer's triumph over the titanic forces of nature. Among the handful of such tales to emerge in the twentieth century, one of the most enduring surely must be Sir Francis Chichester's account of his solitary, nine-month journey around the world in his 53-foot ketch Gipsy Moth IV. The story of how the sixty-five-year-old navigator singlehandedly circumnavigated the globe, the whole way battling hostile seas as well as his boat's numerous design flaws, is a tale of superhuman tenacity and endurance to be read and reread by sailors and armchair adventurers alike. First published in 1967, just months after the completion of Chichester's historic journey, Gipsy Moth Circles the World was an instant international best-seller. It inspired the first solo around-the-world race and remains a timeless testament to the spirit of adventure. Francis Chichester's 1967 singlehanded circumnavigation set a blazing record for speed. He completed the voyage with just one stop and 226 days at sea. It was an amazing performance; that he was sixty-five years old made it the more so. Chichester then sat down to write one of the great narratives of modern voyaging.
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The classic account of how Sir Francis Chichester singlehandedly circumnavigated the globe in 1966

About the Author

Aviator and sailor Sir Francis Chichester is best known for being the first and fastest person to sail around the globe single-handedly in The Gipsy Moth IV. Following this achievement he wrote several books and made films about his sailing experiences. Born in Devon and educated at Marlborough College, Chichester emigrated to New Zealand at the age of 18 and spent ten years in forestry, mining and property development. On his return to England he learned to fly, and in the original Gipsy Moth seaplane he became the first person to complete an East-West solo flight across the Tasman Sea, for which he was awarded the inaugural Amy Johnson Memorial Trophy. Chichester wrote many popular books on his air adventures, and during WWII he wrote the manual that single-man fighter pilots used to navigate across Europe. In 1964 Chichester published his autobiography, the bestselling The Lonely Sea and the Sky, and was knighted three years later for 'individual achievement and sustained endeavour in the navigation and seamanship of small craft'. Chichester used his navigation experience to create a successful map-making company, Francis Chichester Ltd, which today still publishes pocket guides and maps which are sold throughout the world.

Reviews

A remarkable feat, a moving story of conquest by the unquenchable human spirit, a determined old man's gesture of defiance at the modern world. Such was the voyage; his book is a fine account of it with nothing left out -- Alan Villiers Saturday Review

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