We are introducing you to the 30 legends of sailing. Now it is your turn to choose the greatest sailor of all time.
Bernard was born in 1925 in Vietnam, then called Indochina. In ’52 he crashed into rocks in the Indian Ocean; three years later, aboard a self-built boat, he sank off St. Vincent. In 1962 he bought the steel ketch Joshua, and in ’65 with his wife Francoise he completed the longest nonstop crossing: from Tahiti, Polynesia, to Alicante, a total of 14,216 miles ground in 126 days.
1968 saw him engaged in the famous Golden Globe where he decided to make his way to Polynesia to stay there. “I did this to save my soul,” he would declare. An ante litteram ecologist, in 1975 he decided to build a house with his own hands on the tiny atoll of Ahe in Polynesia. He will shipwreck again in 1982 with Joshua in Mexico. Stricken with cancer in ’88, he died in 1994.
Why: He is the first (and greatest) “romantic” navigator of the contemporary era.