Edward Allcard, the first person to sail solo across the Atlantic in both directions, has died in Andorra at the age of 102

Yachtman and adventurer, Edward Allcard has died in Andorra, where he lived with his wife, Clare.

According to a notice in The Times, he passed away on 28 July at the age of 102.

The prolific author, who published his last book – Solo around Cape Horn: and beyond – in 2016, was part of a group of sailors who helped inspire small boat owners to journey the world.

He wrote numerous books about his adventures, including Single-Handed Passage and Temptess Returns.

Nicholas Gray, who met Allcard as part of his research for his book, Last Voyages, said: “Long a hero of mine, I feel privileged to have got to know Edward after several visits to his home recently and also to have met his amazing wife and daughter, Clare and Kate.”

Edward Allcard and the author Nicholas Gray

Two authors meet: Nicholas Gray (left) and Edward Allcard. Credit: Nicholas Gray

“Edward was a true gentleman, unfailingly helpful and friendly to everyone he met. He made some amazing voyages, wrote some of the best ocean voyaging books and was an inspiration to us all. He will be sorely missed by all his many friends all over the world. What a man!” added Gray.

Born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, on 31 October 1914, Edward Allcard was an apprentice shipbuilder in Scotland before he qualified as a naval architect just before the Second World War.

He had learnt to sail as a youngster, and made his first single-handed voyage – from Scotland to Norway and back – in 1939.

In 1951, Edward Allcard became the first man to sail the Atlantic solo in both directions. He had crossed initially in 1949 on his 35-foot wooden ketch, Temptress.

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His return journey in 1951 became an international press sensation after he discovered a 23-year-old female stowaway – Otlilia Frayao – on board. The young woman had sneaked on board in the Azores, hoping to visit Europe and England.

In the Canaries in 1957, Allcard met the young Peter Tangvald – later to become the well-known sea gypsy – and they became life long friends.

The pair are credited with taking part in the first ever east-to-west solo transatlantic race when they raced each other to the West Indies. The wager – the princely sum of $1 – was won by Tangvald.

When Tangvald died in July 1991 off the coast of Bonaire, it was Allcard and his wife, Clare who gave a home to Tangvald’s 15-year-old son, Thomas, who himself disappeared with his fishing smack, Oasis off the coast of Brazil in 2014.

Between 1957 and 1973, Edward Allcard sailed a protracted solo circumnavigation aboard his 36-foot wooden ketch, Sea Wanderer.

He wrote about his passage from Antigua to Argentina in his book, Voyage Alone. He published more details of his exploits 50 years later in his last book, Solo around Cape Horn: and beyond, which describes his voyage to Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, and Cape Horn.

He and his wife, Clare, along with their daughter Kate, cruised extensively 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 before returning to Europe and settling down in Andorra.

Allcard lived with his family in a mountain retreat in the tiny principality until his death on 28 July 2017.