Thursday, October 2, 2008

Steve Fossett - Voyager

A blog called Voyages must pay tribute to the premier adventurer of our age - Steve Fossett.  The crash site and some of his belongings were found by a hiker and confirmed by the NTSB according to this New York
Times acccount.  His plane's wreckage was found by  Preston Morrow, a hiker, at 10,000 feet in the mountains of the Ansel Adams wiilderness in California.

Fossett was a finance man whose wealth was called "vast, eight figure"  in pleadings to declare the missing pilot legally dead before the wreckage and remains were found.  But it was voyaging that owned Fossett, born in 1945 - like me and Van Morrison, to implausibly bracket myself in glory.  Fossett was first around the world in a hot air balloon (solo), first in solo flight around the world, and held the world distance record in a glider - 1,500 kilometers.

But it was sailing that caught my attention.  Driving Playstation, a maxi-catamaran, in 2001 he set the round the world speed record (58 days 9 hours 32 minutes and 45 seconds) and four others, including the Christopher Columbus 1492 route (9 days, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 18 seconds ).    The design genius of Morelli & Melvin  was behind Playstation - the craft for the 2001 campaign, for which Fossett was named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

James Stephen Fossett, 63, lost and presumed dead, September 3, 2007, declared dead February 2008.  He leaves his wife of 39 years Peggy Fossett, and a long trail of wonder.