Want to sit back and enjoy spectacular browsing footage from the comfort of your couch? We pick the best sailing movies on Netflix, Prime and more
Recent years have seen a proliferation of sailing movies hitting streaming platforms, with Netflix leading the way in producing original content, but there are plenty of other sailing movies on offer on streaming services that can satisfy your addiction. sailing from the sofa.
The best sailing movies on Netflix
The streaming giant’s latest sailing film looks back on the story of Jessica Watson, one of the world’s most famous sailors. the late 2000s and early 2010s phenomenon of several teenagers bidding to become the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe. Jessica Watson, who left Sydney in 2009 aged 16, completed her Antarctic loop – and a dip north across the equator into the Pacific Ocean – only to return as an Australian hero after 210 days at sea.
The film is a dramatic retelling of Watson’s story and tries to draw the line between staying true to his story and choosing the drama of the narrative. Watson’s story is undoubtedly intriguing, and any film that rises to the challenge of conveying the long, slow, and arduous experience of the solo adventurer will always struggle to weigh realism with drama. But for the most part, it stays true enough to the story to provide a satisfying viewing experience.
Untold: Race of the Century
Another big Netflix production to be released last year, this documentary on the 1983 America’s Cup is packed with iconic footage and close interviews with major players. The history of the 1983 America’s Cup is legendary for those with even a passing interest in sailing, seeing John Bertrand Australia II crew beating Dennis Connor’s American Freedom to wrest the America’s Cup from the Yacht Clubs of New York for the first time in 132 years – the longest winning streak in the sport’s history.
Even though we all know what’s going on, it’s still on the edge of the siege and you can’t help but recall (or reminisce) the dizzying drama, which so captured the world and the Australian nation that he led the Prime Minister at the time. Australia, Bob Hawke to proclaim: “Any boss who fires someone for not showing up for work today is a tramp”, following the famous victory.
This flawless documentary film tells the story of Tracy Edwards‘all-female Race around the world Whitbread campaign, through raw interviews chronicling the personality clashes and enormous pressures the team has been under.
It’s a moving watch, with fantastic images of the maxi fleets racing in the middle of the ocean: highly recommended.
The best sailing movies on Prime
This critically acclaimed documentary, from the creators of Touching the Voidtells the story of the 1968 Golden Globe Race and how Donald Crowhurst faked his location before mysteriously vanishing. There are impressive amounts of original footage to enjoy over 50 years later.
The 2017 cinematic narrative of 1968 Race to the Golden Globes, in which Colin Firth delivers a standout performance as complex maverick contestant Donald Crowhurst. The emphasis is on the family narrative to appeal to non-sailing viewers, but the yachting scenes have been carefully researched and compelling.
It stands out from many other sailing films as a pure visual experience – aided by Firth’s considerable talents. For those of us who are already familiar with Crowhurst’s tragic story, there’s nothing here to fill in the gaps, as you’d expect from a high-appeal drama, but you can’t help but to be moved to relive history once again.
The best sailing films from elsewhere
This one takes a bit of detective work to find, but the full documentary is hosted online and well worth a watch. Contrary to True Spiritit is made up of real videos shot by teenager Laura Dekker as she toured the world in 2010.
Without film production and following Dekker’s arresting route, it’s a much less dramatic take on sailing around the world, but no less engrossing for her, and a fascinating insight into a remarkable teenager. Those who came out of True Spirit frustrated with some of the dramatic license taken might want to watch this.
It is impossible to watch the Untold: Race of the Century history – or indeed any America’s Cup film – without referring to Windthe 1992 film about how America lost and won back the Cup.
Like any Hollywood rendition, there are a few goofy moments, and I wouldn’t recommend watching it with a sailboat, but it’s a warm film with great 40-foot racing scenes and the memorable catchphrase “Hoist the Whomper!” .
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