People, Jul. 10, 1972

The greatest living hero of the sea, 70-year-old Sir Francis Chichester sailed slowly back toward England under foresails and mizzen, his mainsail furled —out of the 54-ship transatlantic race that began June 17. So weak from a blood disease that he had been virtually carried on board the 57-ft. Gipsy Moth V, Sir Francis was out of radio contact for several days. An R.A.F. search plane, which finally spotted him off the Spanish coast some 600 miles south of England, queried by blinker light if he needed help, and the old sailor flashed back:...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!