Bernard Moitessier

"I have no desire to return to Europe with all its false gods. They eat your liver out and suck your marrow and brutalize you. I am going where you can tie up a boat where you want and the sun is free, and so is the air you breathe and the sea where you swim and you can roast yourself on a coral reef...."

Bernard Moitessier (10 April 1925 – 16 June 1994), a French national born and raised in Vietnam, is one of the most respected sailors of his generation. He stands out from his peers, however, because of his unique approach to long distance sailing as a graceful communion with nature which contrasted starkly with his mainly Anglo-Saxon peers, who largely viewed long distance solo sailing as either a hardship to be heroically endured or a technical exercise. In a life time of memorable quotes, probably his best known is the phrase "the logical route" when describing a 126 day, 14,216 nautical mile, non stop trip from Tahiti to France via the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn.

In 1968 Moitessier participated in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first round the world yacht race. With the fastest circumnavigation time, Moitessier was the likely winner but he elected to continue onto Tahiti again and not return to the start line in England, rejecting the idea of the commercialization of long distance sailing.