In 1993 many sailors and armchair adventurers were mesmerized by the intrepid voyage of Cam Lewis and four Frenchmen as they raced around the world in an attempt to break the mythical 80 day barrier. At the time it seemed an unlikely undertaking. 80 days was just too fast for a sailboat to make a complete lap of the planet but Jules Verne had written a fictitious account of an improbable around-the-world voyage and so the Jules Verne trophy was cast and the chase was on to be the first to claim it.
Back then communication was via fax and telex and we were able to get snippets of information from on board. Cam had recently become engaged to his girlfriend Molly Fitch and it was mainly via Molly that we gained an insight into the trials and tribulations of the small team on board Commodore Explorer. In the end they prevailed, but only just. They closed the loop on their circumnavigation in 79 days, 6 hours, 15 minutes and 56 seconds…
Cam in his inimitable style wrote a superb book about their grand adventure. He teamed up with Michael Levitt to craft a story that ran side by side with the Jules Verne account. The books sold well and a second copy came out in 2002 after Cam skippered his own super catamaran Team Adventure in The Race, a non-stop race around the world.
We are pleased to bring you an electronic version of Around the World in 79 Days produced by Great Circle Publishing Company. A text only electronic version and a traditional book are available; this Fall a new fully integrated version that features videos and images from the trip as well as an in-depth interview with Cam will be available. Those who have purchased either the text only electronic version or the hard copy will be eligible for a 40% discount on the jigged up version.
Bruno Peyron who skippered Commodore Explorer broke his record on two more occasions. In 2000 he sailed Orange around the world in 64 days, 8 hours, 37 minutes and 45 seconds. The sole english speaking person on that trip was Australian Nick Moloney. His account, Chasing the Dawn, which I co-wrote with him, will be available in September in both electronic and hard copy formats. Peyron broke the record one more time on a larger Orange in 2004. Amazing as it seems that record was broken by a French team sailing the trimaran Groupama and the fastest circumnavigation time now stands at 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds.