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Public Lecture Series featuring Thomas Simmons

Dare to Dream: The Mike Plant Story

This event will be streamed live. Please visit our Live Stream page at 7pm on the evening of the event to view the lecture for free.

Mike Plant is in his prime at age 41, recognized as America’s premiere offshore single-handed skipper, when he becomes the subject of a mystery at sea. Weeks have passed since he departed New York Harbor aboard his radically designed 60-foot sloop, Coyote, en route to France for the starting line of the Vendee Globe, a single-handed non-stop race around the world. A massive air search ensues, and those who know Plant believe he is capable of surviving the elements.

Plant’s early life reveals a recurring theme: rebel with a cause. He battles the conventional walls that insulate his privileged upbringing and burns his way through adolescence: drug abuse and pranks leave him adrift in the world. A series of adventures, including Outward Bound survival training exhibitions and an 8-month solo trek of South America, fill his veins with purpose as he searches for the meaning of his existence.

After two years of sailing the Greek Isles as a solo charter on a 32-foot wooden boat, Plant finds himself on the run from Interpol for a drug trafficking charge. He drifts to Newport, Rhode Island at age 34, where a documentary film about a single-handed sailboat race around the world changes his course forever. With the next race in his sights, Plant is a man with purpose for the first time in his life. He spends a brief, but dangerous stint in a Portuguese prison before sailing around the world to victory in the 1986-87 BOC Challenge – a feat that immediately catapults him into the sailing world spotlight.

In the six years that follow, Plant becomes one of five individuals in history to complete three solo-circumnavigations and twice sets the American record for the fastest trip around the world. Despite all that Plant accomplishes, we find his heart is never satisfied. His final creation, Coyote, which employs state-of-the-art design and a powerful hull that challenges the edge of speed and safety, symbolizes his path in life: running before the wind, always with an eye to the sea.

One can only wonder if the storm within Plant’s unconventional path in life contributed to his ability to stay alive during the storm at sea. In Plant’s words, [his story] “Proves that there are people with a sense of adventure and enough belief in themselves to take the risks and do things beyond the reach of everyday life – [life is] a great adventure.”

Thomas Simmons will never forget standing on a tugboat in Newport Bay when his uncle, Mike Plant, appeared over the horizon and sailed to victory in the 1987 BOC Challenge. He knew then as he knows now, that dreams are worth chasing. After ten years as a professional in public accounting and investment banking, he is following his dream of sharing Mike's story on the screen. Documentary film and artistic editing have been passions for more than a decade and – like his uncle Mike before his first trip around the world – Thomas has a gut feeling he is going to be very good at this.

Date: Monday, November 16th

Time: 6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Presentation

Location: Club Headquarters, 46 East 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: Free

Guest Ticket Price: $20

Student Ticket Price:

Free to EC Student Members, $5 w/ a valid Student ID

Reservation Notes:

Reservations are allotted on a first-come, first serve basis.

To secure a reservation, please call us at 212.628.8383 or email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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