What are some good sailing documentaries films

From Deep Water to Maidentrip, these must-see sailing documentaries will keep you glued to the screen. Watch the trailers here

Tabarly

Released in 2008 and nominated for a prestigious Cesar Award for Best Documentary Film, Tabarly is based on the life of  French yachtsman Eric Tabarly who lost his life after falling overboard from his Pen Duick boat off the coast of Wales in June 1998. He was en route to the Fife regatta in Scotland.

 

Maidentrip

Released in 2013, Maidentrip tells the story of New Zealand-born Dutch teen Laura Dekker, who set out to become the youngest person to sail around the world single-handedly.
Dekker had to fight a Dutch court to be allowed to pursue her dream at such a young age. Finally, in August 2010, she set sail on her epic journey onboard her two-masted ketch and arrived, 5,600 nautical miles later, at Simpson Bay on St Maarten in January 2012 – breaking the world record. She was only 16 years and four months of age.

 

Racing Around the World Alone

This exhilarating 2010 documentary follows 30 hopeful skippers who take part in the 2008/2009 Vendée Globe race, the single-handed, non stop race around the world without assistance.

 

Red Dot on the Ocean: The Matt Rutherford Story

This inspiring 2014 documentary tells the story of Matt Rutherford, once a rebellious youth, who bought a sailing boat on the internet without inspecting it first, learnt to sail by himself and at the age of 21 attempted the dangerous voyage to become the first person to sail alone and nonstop around North and South America. Matt’s adventure started in Annapolis, Maryland, where he returned having achieved his goal 309 days later.
The documentary is available to buy on Amazon Prime, Vimeo and Apple iTunes.

 

Robin Knox-Johnston: A Force of Nature

This BBC documentary was broadcast in June 2018 to mark 50 years since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston set sail from Falmouth to win the original Golden Globe Race thus becoming the first person to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world half a century before. With interviews and original footage, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: A Force of Nature is a fantastic documentary about one of the most legendary British sailors of all times. 

 

Jean Du Sud Around The World

1984 film Jean Du Sud Around the World tells the story of sailor Yves Gélinas’s solo 28,000 miles circumnavigation aboard his Alberg 30 sloop, Jean-du-Sud. He sails from France to Quebec via the Roaring Forties of the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn.Gélinas shot the 16 mm film in order to share his experience with fellow sailors, especially the use of his self-steering gear. The film was awarded the Palme D’Or twice and has now been re-released in HD.

 

Taking Flight: Britain’s America’s Cup Challenge

Sir Ben Ainslie wants to bring the America’s Cup to Britain. Credit: Lloyd Images

The documentary, shown on the BBC on 23 July 2016, follows Sir Ben Ainslie and his Land Rover BAR team as they prepare to try and win sport’s oldest international trophy – the America’s Cup. Narrated by presenter Clare Balding, the screening of the documentary coincided with the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth on 22-24 July.

 

 

Deep Water

Narrated by Tilda Swinton and using original 16mm footage, tape recordings and interviews this brilliant 2006 documentary recounts the story of Donald Crowhurst and his fatal attempt to win the first Golden Globe Race in 1968.

Not a skilled yachtsman, Crowhurst entered the race with his boat Teignmouth Electron,  intending to use the prize money to support his failing business. As the weeks went on, he eventually abandoned the race and reported false positions to race organisers, leading everyone to believe he was winning the race, when really he was in last place. His yachtwas later found drifting and recovered logbooks indicate that he’d suffered a mental breakdown due to the pressure and the sailor had jumped overboard. The race was eventually won by Robin Knox-Johnston who donated the prize money to Crowhurst’s widow. Available on YouTube and Amazon Prime.

 

 

Beyond 360

School teacher Dee Caffari and Spanish veterinarian Anna Corbella join forces in fulfilling the dream of a lifetime: becoming professional sailors. Beyond 360 documents their story as they team up to compete in the Barcelona World Race 2010. Available on Amazon Prime.

 

 

Maiden

Released on 8 March 2019 to coincide with International Women’s Day, Maiden is a feature length documentary on Tracy Edwards.

The film tells the story of 24 year-old Edwards, a cook on charter boats, who became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989.

Tracy Edwards had her first Whitbread Round the World Race experience working in the galley of the boat Atlantic Privateer. She enjoyed the experience so much that she decided to take part as a skipper and three years later she bought the 58ft yacht Maiden. Edwards put together an all – and first – female crew and entered the race. The crew went on to win two of the Whitbread legs and came second in class overall.

 

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