Force of Nature
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In January 1969, aboard his home-built wooden boat Suhaili, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person every to sail solo, non-stop around the world. 25 years later, Sir Robin again completed a record-breaking circumnavigation, co-skippering Enza with Kiwi yachting legend Sir Peter Blake. His place in sailing's pantheon of greats was assured.
Then, after the tragic death of his wife Sue, Sir Robin decided he would try again. in October 2006, at the age of 67 - when most people are settling in to a well-earned retirement - Sir Robin embarked on another gruelling single-handed race around the world. Compared to his rivals he lacked recent experience and a large shore-based support team.
There were some who believed that this time he might have bitten off more than he could chew.
Then early on, it looked like their worst fears might be realised. Within days of setting off, near-Hurricane-strength storms in the Bay of Biscay capsized his 60' yacht Saga Insurance. But it wasn't just Sir Robin who suffered. Three-quarters of the entire fleet had to run for shelter. When they re-emerged, all faced months of hardship and intensity ahead.
Force of Nature is Sir Robin's first-hand account his extraordinary return to the ultra-competitive, punishing world of single-handed offshore racing. It turned out to be a very different journey to the one he undertook about Suhaili, yet his experience aboard her remains a touchstone throughout this story.
It's a story of courage, ingenuity and resilience played out against the World's oceans. But most of all it's a powerful reminder that age is nothing but a number; no barrier to realizing one's dreams.
- Penguin Books Ltd, September 2008
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