Born in 1901 into a troubled childhood in rural Devon, he suffered through the sadism of the English public school system, then in 1918 left for New Zealand where he made his first fortune.There he took up flying and in 1930 became one of the first aviators to fly from London to Sydney. After being the first solo flyer across the Tasmania Sea from New Zealand to Austria, he set off to circle the world, only to crash, nearly fatally, in Japan.After serving in the RAF on World War II, he took up sailing at the age of 54 and in 12 years became the most famous yachtsman in the world. Along the way there are struggles and triumphs, climaxing in being knighted with Sir Francis Drake's sword in Greenwich. Ian Strathcarron, himself an aviator, yachtsman and adventurer, follows him all the way, comparing what Sir Francis found then to what he finds now, meeting the descendants of the people who played important parts in his life and getting under the skin of what made the man, the man.
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