Deep Water

misc010.jpg      Yesterday evening, we went to see the film Deep Water, made by the same producer as  Touching the Void. It’s about the summer of 1968 when nine men set out on the solo, non-stop, round-the-world, Golden Globe boat race. However, the film is mainly about  Donald Crowhurst, a weekend sailor, who set off, late and ill-prepared, in the leaky, unproven Teignmouth Electron. After a number of problems, making painfully slow progress, and facing the dilemma of death if he ventured into The Roaring Forties or financial ruin and humiliation if he turned back, Crowhurst attempted to deceive the world. With false radio reports of his progress whilst remaining in the South Atlantic, he hoped to tag along behind the leaders of the race as they passed him on the last leg of the journey, returning as a  runner-up in the race.Whilst he waited for the other competitors, Crowhurst had time to reflect upon his conduct, which seemed to bring about a critical mental breakdown. The abandoned Teignmouth Electron was found drifting in the Atlantic by the RMS Picardy. Of the four Log books carried, only three were found. Crowhurst had apparently committed suicide by jumping overboard.Rather than relying on reconstructing the action of the story, it is told through a vast array of archival film footage; news reports, surviving film-diaries taken by the individual competitors on their boats, including Crowhurst’s  and also, interviews with those competitors, their family and friends, at the time and more recently for this film. Robin Know-Johnson, on Suhaili,was the first to complete the race. He later donated his winnings to Crowhurst’s widow and four children.The Remarkable Journey of Donald Crowhurst

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This entry was posted in sailing.

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