We are always saddened when we learn about the passing of a fellow yachtsman, especially one who has lived such an adventurous life and has shared his stories with the world. Edward Allcard, yachtsman, author and adventurer, passed away this past July at the age of 102. His adventures were the inspiration for many sailors to journey the world and his last book, released in 2016, Solo Around Cape Horn and Beyond was no different. Many of his novels were focused on his passion, sailing the world.
Allcard was born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey in 1914 and later became an apprentice shipbuilder in Scotland before he qualified as a naval architect just before the Second World War. In 1939, he made his first single-handed voyage from Scotland to Norway and back and in 1951 became the first man to sail the Atlantic solo in both directions. What was of great interest during his 1951 return journey was the discovery of a 23-year-old female stowaway, Otlilia Frayao. She had snuck on board the Azores, hoping to visit Europe and England.
Many will remember his true friendship with Peter Tangvald, the Sea Gypsy whom he met in the Canaries in 1957. The two yachtsmen are credited with taking part in the first ever east-to-west solo transatlantic race when they raced each other to the West Indies. Tangvald won the race as well as the reward of $1 which the two had wagered. In 1991, Tangvald died off the coast of Bonaire, and Allcard and his wife, Clare welcomed Tangvald’s 15-year-old son, Thomas, into their home.
From 1957 to 1973, Allcard sailed a protracted solo circumnavigation aboard his 36-foot wooden ketch, the Sea Wanderer. The story of this voyage can be found in his book, Voyage Alone. His book, Solo around Cape Horn and Beyond, tells of his voyage to Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn.
A yachtsman always, Allcard sailed with his wife and daughter on their restored 69-foot gaff-rigged ex-Baltic trader, Johanne Regina in the 1970s and 1980s, visiting the Caribbean, Europe, the Seychelles and the Far East. He finally settled down in Andorra where he lived with his wife. Edward Allcard will always be remembered for his passion for sailing and his adventurous spirit.