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Hal Roth

Death of Hal Roth

October 25, 2008
Easton, Maryland

Avid sailor and author of 12 books who circumnavigated the globe three times

Obituary

EASTON, Md. - Hal Roth, an avid sailor and author of 12 books who circumnavigated the globe three times, died Saturday. He was 81.

Roth died after a 2 1/2-year battle with lung cancer, according to his wife, Margaret.

Roth's first book, "Pathway in the Sky," about the John Muir Trail in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, was published in 1965. The next year, Roth and his wife quit their jobs and began a 19-month journey around the Pacific on a 35-foot sloop. The adventure led to his first sailing book, "Two on a Big Ocean."

Publisher McGraw-Hill later coupled that book with two other critically acclaimed titles, "Two Against Cape Horn" and "The Longest Race," to produce "The Hal Roth Seafaring Trilogy," released in 2005.

His books "are universally listed among the most influential sailing books ever published," according to SpinSheet, a sailing magazine.

Hal and Margaret Roth sailed around the world together from 1981 to 1985, and Roth later competed in two solo round-the-world races. The couple also retraced the path of Homer's Odysseus.

Roth's last book, "Handling Storms at Sea," will be published this month, his wife said.

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