Derek Hatfield, a sailing legend who cast fear to the wind to become the first Canadian to complete two solo around-the-world voyages, has died suddenly at 63.
In 2002-2003, Hatfield, a former RCMP officer, became the 126th person to complete the Around Alone around-the-world sailing race on his own.
Piloting the Spirit of Canada, a 12-meter sailboat he built with friends and family, Hatfield sailed 28,700 nautical miles in nine months in completing the voyage.
He accomplished the same feat in 2010-2011. In both races he placed third in his class. In an interview prior to his 2010 attempt, Hatfield explained how he did it.
“You have to feel so secure in what you are doing on the boat all the time that you really don’t feel that you’re at risk just because you are a thousand miles from land,” he said.
“If there was any fear at all of the ocean or being alone, that fear would stop you from going and you would never leave the dock.” (Read more.)