85-Year-Old Sails Atlantic ... on a Raft

Two-month journey for charity completed
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2011 9:04 AM CDT
Anthony Smith, second left, is pictured with his crew aboard the An-Tiki, a 40-foot sail-powered raft, shortly after they completed their roughly two-month transatlantic voyage, April 6, 2011.   (AP Photo/Judy Fitzpatrick)
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(Newser) – Anthony Smith was in high spirits as arrived in St. Maarten yesterday, and why not? After all, he’d just realized a boyhood dream, sailing a 40-foot raft on a two-month journey across the Atlantic with the help of three of his friends—at the ripe young age of 85. “Some people say it was mad,” Smith, a London native, told the AP. “But it wasn’t mad. What else do you do when you get on in years?”

Smith says he and his crew wanted to prove the elderly could pull off seemingly dangerous adventures. They also raised money for WaterAid, a British nonprofit that provides potable water to impoverished countries. The seed money for the voyage actually came thanks to a stroke of bad luck; Smith was hit by a van and broke his hip. “I got some compensation money,” he says. “So what do you blow the compensation money on? You blow it on a raft.”

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