The Mystery of Donald C.
Text Francesco Musolino
One day, back in 1967, Donald Crowhurst decided he would do an extraordinary feat. An English gentleman with a passion for the sea, he had a wife and four children. He was just an amateur sailor but decided to sign up for the fledgling Golden Globe Race, the non-stop single-handed regatta around the world, organised by The Sunday Times. The prize money at stake would have guaranteed comfort and above all the much sought after universal fame. It was a question of starting in October of 1968 from England sailing towards the Cape of Good Hope, crossing the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific, doubling Cape Horn and finally going back to England. About thirty thousand nautical miles for over nine months at sea. They enrolled in nine participants but only one, the captain of the Royal Navy, Robin Knox-Johnston, managed to finish the race. The others broke the hull in the sea or abandoned, in despair. But what happened to Donald Crowhurst? To build his boat, the trimaran Teignmouth Electron, he committed the house and the company but the difficulties made it worse. Caught by the fear of losing everything, he lied on his real route, deluded his family and after writing delirious pages in his logbook, the feelings of guilt drove him to suicide. His boat was found on July 10, 1969 off the Bermuda islands. A mysterious anti-hero, his story has already inspired the documentary Deep Water. The crazy regatta and the 2018 movie, The Mercy. The mystery now lives again in The Mystery of Donald C. the movie by James Marsh with Colin Firth in the role of the protagonist and Rachel Weitz in that of his sad wife. The body of engineer Donald Crowhurst has never been found. The mystery on his end has never been solved.