By Paul Heiney
In 1960, when Sir Francis Chichester first raced singlehanded across the Atlantic, it was widely regarded as an insane stunt. Nowadays, the Singlehanded Transatlantic Race is not only accorded the greatest of respect but is also recognised as a true test of stamina and seamanship. Almost half a century after Chichester's achievement, amateur sailor Paul Heiney entered the race to prove that the Corinthian spirit of the transatlantic pioneers can still get you from one side of the Atlantic to the other - if you try hard enough.
The Last Man Across the Atlanticis an honest account of what it is like to be out there alone. Even the strongest yacht takes a battering after 3,000 miles and there's no pit stop for repairs. Sails are torn, water goes sour, the last apple turns to mush and there's still three weeks to go before sight of land. Paul Heiney fully expected to be the last man across the Atlantic and said it didn't bother him in the slightest. 'It's enough to be able to say you climbed Everest without having to run up it as well. And this is the sailing Everest - for me, anyway.'
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