Adam Mayers


Around the World Alone in a Racing Sail Boat

Deep-ocean racing is the most glamorous sport of all, and the Around Alone Race is the most dangerous and exhilarating contest in the pantheon. Fewer than 130 people have completed solo circumnavigation while more than 1200 have climbed Mount Everest.

The Around Alone Race is an eight-month solo voyage, held every four years, which touches five continents and takes the participants through some of the worst conditions on the planet. There is no cash reward -- just a handshake and a trophy. Yet it requires the investment of millions of dollars.

Adam Mayers, an author and journalist, chronicled the 2002/2003 Around Alone Race and received vivid first-hand reports by e-mail and telephone from several sailors, as they risked their small boats and their lives to make it to the finish line.

In portraying the adventure, Mayers examines the driving ambition, motivation, and courage of these men and women. We are with them on their voyage as they surf the most terrifying cliffs of water imaginable and are tossed by winds of astonishing force. There is no respite for days or weeks at a time. They can’t crawl into a tent and hunker down as mountain hikers do. And they are totally alone.

Of the 13 sailors in the recent race, three were forced to drop out. But one, the charismatic Derek Hatfield, a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police detective miraculously triumphed. He had risked his entire savings of $400,000 and almost lost his life when he was hurled overboard without a lifeline and his mast was destroyed. His story galvanized admirers who found cash to repair his boat and urged him on. He arrived at the finish line after 245 days filled with beauty and terror.

ADAM MAYERS, author of two books (one on business and one a history), is a senior editor at where his reports on Around Alone attracted thousands to the site. He also is an enthusiastic sailor.

Mayers will complete the manuscript by January 2004 for Canadian publication by McClelland & Stewart in fall 2004. Other rights are available.

McClelland & Stewart Canada / 2004