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In 1960, when Sir Francis Chichester first raced singlehanded across the Atlantic, it was widely regarded as an insane stunt. Nowadays, the Singlehanded Transatlantic Race is not only accorded the greatest of respect but is also recognised as a true test of stamina and seamanship. lmost half a century after Chichester s achievement, amateur sailor Paul Heiney entered the race to prove that the Corinthian spirit of the transatlantic pioneers can still get you from one side of the Atlantic to the other if you try hard enough. he Last Man Across the Atlantic is an honest account of what it is like to be out there alone. Even the strongest yacht takes a battering after 3,000 miles and there s no pit stop for repairs. Sails are torn, water goes sour, the last apple turns to mush and there s still three weeks to go before sight of land. Paul Heiney fully expected to be the last man across the Atlantic and said it didn t bother him in the slightest. It s enough to be able to say you climbed Everest without having to run up it as well. And this is the sailing Everest for me, anyway.
Paul Heiney is a well-known writer and broadcaster who will be remembered for his appearances on That's Life. More recently, he has been part of the BBC's Watchdog team and presenter of Radio 4's Home Truths. In a richly varied life, he has also been an organic farmer and a carthorse enthusiast. He lives in Suffolk with his wife.