Donald Crowhurst is an amateur sailor whose ambition eclipses his financial woes. When he comes across the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968; an event in which sailors must circumnavigate the world in return for sponsorship; he sees it as the perfect opportunity for adventure, recognition and, indeed, the answer to all his financial problems.
His friends and family think he’s mad to sign up to be alone on a boat for nine months, plus, while he’s very much into sailing, his own boat is certainly not up to world-travel standard. Nevertheless, he enlists the help of his wife to build a new vessel that will withstand the tempestuous oceans and unpredictable weathers, managing to secure an investment from his friend Stanley Best.
Of course, his wife isn’t thrilled with the whole idea. When it comes to it, the thought of watching her husband sail out to sea for the best part of a year is a heartbreaking and terrifying prospect. Indeed, he does face such a matter of life and death off the coast of Africa, and begins to realise that his new boat isn’t going to get him much further.
He decides to turn off his radio and begins to fabricate his positions in his log putting him at record-breaking speeds which only serves to arouse suspicion. Indeed, his idea to cheat by slipping back into the race at the last minute without having completed the route ends in a disaster that few predicted.
‘The Mercy’ is a forthcoming biopic based on the true story of the real Donald Crowhurst, who died at sea while attempting to sail the world with uncompleted safety equipment and an untested boat. It has been directed by the Academy Award winning James Marsh (‘The Theory of Everything’) and written by Scott Z. Burns (‘Side Effects’, ‘Contagion’), and even stars Geoff Bladon as the town mayer – the son of the real mayor at the time Arthur Bladon.
Last year saw the release of a much smaller film on the same subject entitled ‘Crowhurst’, with 2006’s ‘Deep Water’ also exploring the event. ‘The Mercy’ has a tentative release date of February 9th 2018.