A TRUE-LIFE HIGH SEAS ADVENTURE STORY
Pitch Publishing is thrilled to bring you Flares Up: A Story Bigger than the Atlantic – an epic true-life tale of adventure, tenacity and the capacity of the human spirit to triumph over adversity, set on the high seas.
Written by acclaimed author Niamh McAnally, the book charts the experiences of former firefighter and brain haemorrhage survivor Paul Hopkins and 65-year-old entrepreneur Phil Pugh, who vowed to cross the Atlantic in a fourth-hand 20ft wooden boat – a challenge usually reserved for younger, fitter people. The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is known as the world’s toughest row for good reason. In fact, more people have been to space than have rowed the Atlantic.
Financial and physical setbacks caused years of delays to their challenge and put a strain on both their marriages, but finally, on 12 December 2019, they set off from the Canary Islands. Violent storms, 30ft waves and equipment failure left both men seasick, dehydrated and sleep-deprived. Alone on the ocean, they were forced to examine their lives and confront their demons. Was the decision to undertake this challenge brave, selfish or simply foolish? After 70 gruelling days at sea, they crossed the finish line, two changed men. But would either of their wives be there to greet them?
McAnally, a former TV director and seafarer herself, felt compelled to tell Paul and Phil’s story after photographing their elation as they crossed the finish line. The book’s publication on 5 September coincides with the run-up to the 2022 race, which departs in December.
Pitch Publishing director Jane Camillin commented: “We are thrilled to be publishing Niamh’s book, Flares Up is a proper tale of adventure and persistence. This is really a fascinating story of rowing the Atlantic.”