Saturday, October 20, 2007

Trousers Ablaze – And They’re Full of Shit

According to Wikipedia, between 1973 and 1976 Reid Stowe traveled the Atlantic making two crossings, one of which was solo. The vessel was a 27 foot catamaran that Stowe had constructed at his family beach house in North Carolina. According to Wikipedia, “The catamaran was, at the time, the smallest vessel to navigate the North Atlantic.” The reference Wikipedia sites is an interview conducted by Harold Channer on July 31, 2003 and which aired August 4, 2003. In that interview, Mr. Stowe himself states, “... I sailed the smallest boat across the Atlantic Ocean…”

This Stowe cat was not even close to being the smallest vessel to navigate the Atlantic. There were at least 20 boats that made the Atlantic crossing before 1973. That’s a very conservative number because it only includes boats under 20 feet in length who sailed point to point across the ocean – it doesn’t include circumnavigators who simply crossed the Atlantic as part of a larger effort or even - yes - rowboats. A 20’ boat crossed from Ireland to Boston as early as 1870. In 1965 Robert Manry sailed from Falmouth, MA to Falmouth England in the 13.5 foot Tinkerbelle. That’s HALF THE SIZE of Mr. Stowes “smallest boat to navigate the North Atlantic”.

What record could he hold, then? Smallest boat to make the trip both ways? Nope – that honor belongs to Fredrick Norman & George P. Thomas who sailed from Gloucester to Cowes and back again in 1880/81. Oh – and their boat was a strapping 16 feet long.

Could he hold the record for the smallest catamaran to make the trip? Or the smallest to cross in a self made boat? No and no.. In 1957 a gentleman named Jim Wharram crossed in a 23 foot catamaran with a couple of German ladies in a boat he built for about $420.

Oh, and regarding his Antarctica Expedition, in this same interview Mr. Stowe says of that trip – “It’s really dangerous, that’s why no one had done it”. In fact, over 70 private boats had made the trip before the Anne did in 1986 including Americans Robert and Nancy Griffith and their son Reid (coincidence). In 1970/71, fifteen years before the Anne dropped anchor for a beer and a barbecue and then skedaddled back to warmer waters; the Griffith family had already circumnavigated Antarctica.

Not first boat, smallest boat or even smallest catamaran to cross the Atlantic once or twice. As far as the Antarctic trip, they had sold out of the “been there-done that” T-shirts before the thought of traveling to the bottom of the world had even crossed Stowe's mind.

Being very generous, then, here are the results:

  • Atlantic Small Boat Navigation – 20th Place
  • Race to Antarctica – 70th Place
  • Bull Shit Artistry – 1st Place

Come on up and get your Pickle Dish.

References:

For supporting data, I relied heavily on two sources. For the Atlantic crossings I relied most on Microcruising.com section “Famous Small Boats” found here http://www.microcruising.com/famoussmallboats.htm. A comprehensive list of Antarctic trips is found on a page titled Antarctic Sailing Chronology (Yacht Cruises to Antarctica) http://www.sy-lundi.de/chronology.html. While I used these two sites as primary sources, I verified all the details contained herein with other sources and can provide them on request. Here’s the Interview with Stowe and Channer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkK3CS6qAo4. If you’d like a list of times where I culled important information, feel free to e-mail me with your request (nobody should have to suffer through the whole hour).

11 comments:

elle said...

i suffered through 45 minutes of that interview. good-NESS. painful to say the least. nice article.

Anonymous said...

Well done. Just a little research to prove that Reid is a bullshit artist. Reid's truth manipulations (aka lies) just start jumpin' out at you if you take the time to carefully read anything he's said. Too bad Soanya didn't research this dude before she put her fate in his hands.

Anonymous said...

Wow! How impressive! Reid didn't spend hours on the internet reserching sailing history...that sure makes him a poor sailor and a terrible human being...or maybe it makes the guy who wasted this time a great computer jockey, and a grealty obsessed young man.

Go set a record kid, and get off everyone else's back!

Rich said...

I think this as good a forum as any to announce that it is my intention to set a new world record by being the first man to summit Mt. Everest ten consecutive times in the period of 1000 days. That's right, ten times in 1000 days! I will of course need donations because I am an artist and an adventurer (some people call me a lazy deadbeat but I will have the last laugh !!) and have no time for the restraints and limitations of "normal" occupations. I will be summating without the aid of oxygen but will need the aid of faithful donators. This will be a most scientific venture and I hope to be able to pass along facts to NASA such as what happens when the brain is cut off from adequate supplies of oxygen and what happens when you listen to what the mountain has to say. I don't plan on doing any extensive research before the trip but what's there really to know. One foot in front of the other, right?
You will be able to follow my progress up and down, up and down, with the aid of a tracking devise which will most assuredly NOT be placed in the backpack of a sherpa whilst I drink away all of your generous donations in some Nepalese bar/cathouse.
Any young ladies who want to tag along, feel free to contact me. Absolutely no climbing experience necessary.

How's that for a record kid?

Rich






Anonymous said...
"Wow! How impressive! Reid didn't spend hours on the internet reserching sailing history...that sure makes him a poor sailor and a terrible human being...or maybe it makes the guy who wasted this time a great computer jockey, and a grealty obsessed young man.

Go set a record kid, and get off everyone else's back!"

Regatta Dog said...

I gotta respond to this guy.

"Wow! How impressive! Reid didn't spend hours on the internet reserching sailing history...that sure makes him a poor sailor and a terrible human being...or maybe it makes the guy who wasted this time a great computer jockey, and a grealty obsessed young man.

Go set a record kid, and get off everyone else's back!"

I did set a record. I sailed a Sunfish across the Atlantic in 1937 and I swam to Antarctica in 1956. I lost a flipper on the way and before I got used to the right pull, I ended up drawing a sea turtle in the Atlantic.

I said it so it must be true, right?

Fight me on the facts Oprah.

Sailflat said...

Clearly if one is going to claim that one has set a record one should do some research first... Perhaps starting with those fine folks at Guinness.

But you have given me an idea for a new post... Send in your favorite lie that Reid has told and I will put together a top 10 compilation of Reid lies.

fred said...

Negative comments deleted! What a classy group of haters!

Let me say once again - a parody is good natured fun, like a roast, this blog goes into so much detail that is clear you guys are obsesed - and are jealous haters. Let me know when you can handle commentary. I don't expect that soon - true believer of the sailing cult you are!!!!


May all your boats sink.

YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!

Regatta Dog said...

Hey there Skippy, chill out. Seems to me this site is a mix of parody and commentary and, sure, bitching. At least it's open to comments from good people like you.

Truth? I laid the truth out for you and that got YOUR panties in a bunch. I can handled it. Bring it on.

MaxHeadroom said...

Hey Fred -

Please email well written, thought provoking comments to the following email address:

1000daysofhell@gmail.com

If you wish to refute anything we have posted, please do - As long as you can connect together some relatively coherent sentences.

Rants/obnoxious and other lithium like comments will go to the trash.

Hope to hear from you real soon now

Regatta Dog said...

Hey Fred -

As an attorney, I'd expect you to be able to tear apart my article about Reid's claims vs. reality. Have at it Counselor.

As a lawyer you should understand precedence. It's central to your profession. Consider the evidence I posted as case law. Refute the shit or go away.

RD

Sailflat said...

We will not use this as a forum to debate you and YES non topical comments are deleted. The only reason that your previous comment was left, though it is entirely non topical, was that we need to address this issue.

What does a bowsprit collision have to do with this article? nothing -> comments gone...

Like Max said... Write up a topical article and send it in. We will be happy to post your counter point of view in an article here on your behalf. As well, if you are interested in refuting anything about this blog... Send it in... If we are wrong we would be happy to fix the error and publish a retraction.

If you have something to say about this article... Great, otherwise this topic is closed.
Sailflat

Vandalism and Fair Use

It seems that some energetic fans of Mr. Stowe have discovered this site and have a problem with it's content; All posts are welcome here whether you agree with this blog or not; however, nonsensical posts will be deleted.

We suggest you research the following terms: public figure, parody, and fair use.....and lighten up a bit, hey?