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Eric B. Forsyth

Eric Forsyth grew up in Bolton, England. After obtaining a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at Manchester University, he served as an RAF fighter pilot in the 1950s. He obtained a master's degree at Toronto University in 1960 and then worked until his retirement in 1995 at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York, leading the development of superconducting cables suitable for very high capacity underground AC transmission systems.

In 1986 he was appointed Chair of the Accelerator Development Department, which was responsible for the construction and design of several particle accelerators, including preconstruction design and planning of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, now the largest nuclear physics research tool in the U.S. Forsyth is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE); in 2007 he was presented with the Herman Halperin Award for Power Transmission and Distribution development, the highest distinction awarded annually by the IEEE for research in this field.

Captain Forsyth has sailed about 300,000 nautical miles, much of it on his sturdy 42-foot cutter Fiona. His voyages have included, among others, two global circumnavigations, one clockwise and one counterclockwise, several trips to the Arctic and the Antarctic, a trip to the Baltic, and a cruise through the Northwest Passage, returning home to Long Island, New York via the Panama Canal. In 2000, Forsyth was presented with the Blue Water Medal by the Cruising Club of America, which bestows this honor annually on a single amateur sailor world-wide.

Published Works:

An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

Sailing well into his eighties, Captain Eric Forsyth shows that age need not be a barrier to an adventurous retirement. His love of ocean sailing was ignited in 1964 when he crossed the Atlantic with his wife, Edith, crewing aboard a friend's 46-foot boat. For more than fifty years, mostly aboard his sturdy cutter, Fiona, Forsyth has cruised the oceans of the world, making voyages that included two circumnavigations of the globe, cruises through the Northwest Passage and to the Baltic, and several excursions to both the Artic and Antarctic. His stories will appeal to all sailors, whether active or armchair, and to travel buffs with a penchant for remote places and their histories.

On a more serious side, Forsyth has seen many countries that he visited over the decades change from languorous oligarchies to developing democracies with a thriving middle class. Like the U.S., they have a profligate appetite for fossil fuel, which is not a sustainable resource in the long run. He suggests ways of bringing attention to this global problem.

A Yacht Fiona Book, published by Green Ocean Race Productions, 2016.

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