In 1968, weekend yachtsman Donald Crowhurst re-mortgaged his house and entered The Sunday Times’ first non-stop, single-handed, round-the-world sailing race. Against him were eight fearsomely experienced sailors, but armed with a hi-tech vessel and Boy’s Own pluck, Crowhurst set out to prove the doubters wrong. What followed was a very English botch job (“This bloody boat’s falling to bits!”) that descended into Walter Mitty fantasy as the little man got dragged out of his depth. Directors Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell trace Crowhurst’s voyage through increasingly erratic journal entries (“I have become a second-generation cosmic being”), fudged compass positions and 16mm footage of the solo sailor going slowly insane on deck. It could be this year’s Touching The Void, but Deep Water’s story is more tragic, its tale of human fallibility a life lesson for us all. Recommended.
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