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.
Wings Over the Channel
Eric Forsyth's new historical novel is set in the U.K. in the 1930s when another war is threatening. The Royal Air Force is working frantically to develop an effective radar defense system against potential German bombers.
The story follows the continuing adventures of a young RAF pilot, Allan Chadwick, whose efforts to test the system attract the interest of German spies who have penetrated an upper class appeasement clique. One of their members is an aristocratic widow who becomes Chadwick's paramour. He becomes involved in a duel of wits to fool the Luftwaffe by feeding false reports of the tests.
Kirkus Reviews notes the story has a "sly undercurrent of humor" which "keeps the whole tale moving along briskly," including "a running gag about Chadwick's behemoth old Bentley." Kirkus concludes Wings Over the Channel is "A rousing detailed RAF thriller that delivers an effective climax."
Published by Yacht Fiona Books, February 2022.
Wings Over Iraq
In this historical novel set in Iraq in the turbulent lead-up to WWII, the British patrol the oil fields using obsolete Vimy bombers, while the Germans recruit opportunistic local tribes to sabotage British efforts and help set up an archaeological dig as an espionage cover. As fascists ascend to power in Europe, newly-qualified British RAF pilot Allan Chadwick is given his first assignment to an airfield near Baghdad.A gauche young man from a small English town, he is soon initiated into the brutalities and inefficiencies of war, as well as the pleasures and surprises of romantic liaisons. Chadwick demonstrates an innate aircraft and engineering know-how, which serves him well, but is nearly his undoing when he heads back to Britain for his next assignment.
Published by Yacht Fiona Books, May 2020.
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.