Fifty Year Anniversary of a Spiritual Journey
Published on March 8th, 2017
Frenchman Bernard Moitessier (April 10, 1925 -June 16, 1994) is most notable for his participation in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first round the world yacht race.
With the fastest circumnavigation time towards the end of the race, and the Golden Globe trophy and a £5,000 prize on offer, Moitessier rejected the idea of commercializing long distance sailing, instead continuing on to Tahiti again and not return to the start line in England.
While that decision would launch Robin Knox-Johnston into infamy as the only entrant to complete the race, a new effort is being organized to shine the light again on Moitessier.
In order to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of Moitessier’s decision, the French-American sailor Guy Bernardin will start for a new round-the-world sailing trip without calls nor assistance. He will be 74 with 5 round-the-world trips and 6 Cape Horn passages under his belt.
On this occasion, Guy invites other sailors to join him on this passage, in the same state of mind as Moitessier. This is not a race; there are no rules, constraints, obligations, or awards. The reward is the intimate return to have made a dream comes true and to have win against oneself.
It is a return to true values, individual and human responsibilities of the sailor and the man. Freedom and serenity to be alone at sea.
Each sailor is responsible for their choice of boat, a cruiser or racer-cruiser or ocean-passage maker, no more than 52-feet able to perform ocean passages. Each one is free to communicate as they wish, to display the arms of supporters, sponsors or patrons, and to give their own adventure the impact they want. They can judge if they respect or not Moitessier’s ideas in doing so.
According to his ship and his equipment, each one is free to choose their starting date between June 18 and September 30, from a port north of 45° North of Europe, or 41° North of America east coast, and for a return to a French port in north of 45° North to be indicated at a later date.
A boat gathering including cultural activities would occur in Le Bono, sa mall town on the coast of the Morbihan’s Gulf on the south coast of Brittany, France, burial place of Moitessier, on June 16 and 17, to celebrate his death in 1994, with the help of the town.
In 1971, Moitessier published a book of the experience, The Long Way, which tells the story of his voyage as a spiritual journey as much as a sailing adventure and is still regarded as a classic of sailing and adventuring literature.
Fifty years later, the spirit of Moitessier’s journey returns. Details: http://www.longueroute2018.com