We're being a bit spoiled this year with all this Olympic sailing on our TVs, but it isn't every sailor's cup of tea. Not everyone loves the white heat of competition, or even the warm glow of club racing, and fortunately the cinema is here to help.
I say this because the next 6 months or so are going to be a good time for sailing in the cinema. We haven't exactly been overwhelmed with classic sailing movies in the past (although there are actually more than you might think), so three big releases in six months is pretty good going. They may even inspire a few people to give sailing a go.
Two of the movies are for families, which isn't a bad thing for someone like me as I have two youngsters that I'd really love to catch the sailing bug. The third is for grown-ups, and it is a movie that I really can't wait to see.
Swallows and Amazons
The first to hit the big screen is Swallows and Amazons. The book is probably the most famous work of fiction about sailing that there is, and Arthur Ransome's much loved classic is being "improved" with an added spy storyline to help it compete with more modern kid's movies.
For some reason, despite being surrounded by books as kids, I never read Swallows and Amazons so I'm not worried about the modernisation, but I suspect others will have stronger feelings about the re-boot. More importantly from my point of view is that the movie is exciting, and captures some of the sense of freedom that sailing gives. The trailer is pretty promising in that regard:
Unfortunately I reckon my kids are still a little young for it, but we'll read the book together and watch the movie when they're a little older.
Luckily for us, though, there is a movie that will be exactly the right age for them...
Big hat-tip to Tillerman - I wouldn't know this was coming out in December were it not for his blog. Although I suspect we'll all know about it as it's release approaches - Disney movie releases are rarely quiet affairs.
With a six-year old and a four-year old, I am now something of a connoisseur of children's movies and, whilst I suspect it won't exactly be How to Train Your Dragon, anything that shows sailing in a good light is fine by me.
We'll definitely be heading to the cinema to watch this.
But if all this is a little to young for your tastes (and it certainly is for mine), then perhaps the final film of the three might get you heading for the Omniplex in January...
When we were kids we had a book in our house with a bunch of sailing stories in it. It was a sort of "Greatest Stories of the Sea" book - a beautifully illustrated, coffee-table type book.
It was full of brilliant stories of people lost at sea, or caught in storms, or going round Cape Horn in ludicrous circumstances, and it was a generally entertaining read.
But one story stood out for me, the disastrous story of one man's attempt to win the first Golden Globe single-handed non-stop round the world race. It was memorable and exciting and touching. And incredibly dark.
It was the first time I came across the story of Donald Crowhurst, an ill-fated competitor in that race.
Crowhurst's story has fascinated me ever since, and I'm not alone. It has interested many people, sailors and non-sailors alike, and is the subject of some great books as well as an excellent (and I mean truly excellent - it really is a must see if you're interested in Crowhurst's voyage) movie documentary.
And now it is the subject of a film.
Starring Colin Firth (much to my wife's delight) and Rachel Weisz (who I am told is good looking, but I haven't noticed because I only have eyes for my wife), the movie is also directed by James Marsh, he of the multi-award winning Theory of Everything and the wonderful Man on Wire.
So there is every reason to hope that a story that has inspired a Russian movie, an opera, a novel (or two), poems, an art installation and, of course, some songs, will now have a major movie that does it justice.
I can't wait.
Details on the Books and Movies Mentioned
I love Deep Water. The first ever Single-Handed Round the World race is packed full of extraordinary stories, but the story of Donald Crowhurst is particularly fascinating and poignant. This movie-length documentary covers it brilliantly, and it touches on many of the fascinating aspects of the race alongside the main story. If you haven't seen it, it is one of the few things I can genuinely say is a "must-watch".
Get your hands on a copy - you won't regret it.