The Mercy: Story of Donald Crowhurst

Published on February 6th, 2018

Of the nine men who entered the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe race – all of them bidding to create history by becoming the first man to circumnavigate the globe solo and without stopping – Donald Crowhurst was undoubtedly the least likely.

Born near Delhi in British colonial India in 1932, Crowhurst had an exotic childhood and as a young man enlisted in both the Royal Air Force and the Army. By 1968, he was married with young children and running a small electronics business in Bridgwater, Somerset, where he was a Liberal Party borough councillor.

He enjoyed sailing but was only an amateur; he owned a small, blue day-boat, Pot of Gold, on which he would take his family sailing on the Bristol Channel.

But Crowhurst was a dreamer and incredibly determined, and on 31 October 1968 – 50 years ago this autumn – he waved goodbye to his family and assorted well-wishers and, dressed in a shirt and tie, set off from Devon aboard his trimaran, the Teignmouth Electron. He never returned.

Crowhurst’s extraordinary story and the mystery surrounding his disappearance form the basis of new film The Mercy, staring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, directed by Academy Award-winning James Marsh (The Theory of Everything) and from the producers of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

“The film is fantastic because it shows how things were back then when I set out,” remarks Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who won the 1968-9 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. “But is it a love story, or an adventure story, or a story of someone who had so placed himself into an impossible position – and where was his way out? All very sad, but a brilliant film and the acting is incredible.”

The Mercy is to be released February 2018.

More information… click here.

This Q&A below includes actors Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, and moderated by Danny Leigh.


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