What many consider the greatest sailing film ever made has been re-mastered in High Definition thanks to the generosity of Don Peebles, a New York sailing enthusiast. The 93 minute film was shot in 16 mm color with sound by Yves Gélinas some 30 years ago during his solo 28,000 miles circumnavigation aboard his Alberg 30 sloop, Jean-du-Sud, from Saint-Malo, France to Gaspé, Québec -- the other way around the world -- by way of the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn.
Intending to go sailing full-time, Don Peebles read many books about cruising under sail. In John Vigor's Twenty Sailboats to Take You Anywhere, he learned: "Several Alberg 30’s have circumnavigated the world. (...) One of the best known circumnavigators is Jean-du-Sud, sailed by Yves Gélinas who made an award-winning film of the trip". Via Google, Peebles located the film and the CapeHorn Self-Steering System that Yves designed for his circumnavigation. After watching Jean-du-Sud, Peebles recognized the poetry and great artistic quality of the film. Having worked in film himself, he felt Jean-du-Sud deserved to be brought up to HD standards. So he contacted Yves and offered to have a 16 mm print re-mastered and color graded to High Definition in a New York facility at his own expense. In January 2014, Gélinas travelled to New York City for the restoration and was thrilled with the result: "It is a whole new film, the picture is sharp and crisp again, colors are vibrant, true to life, a new life is given to my film!"
Gélinas was an actor and filmmaker before he went sailing. His goal was to create a work of art that would paint a moving picture of his voyage and become his "masterpiece". Jean-du-Sud was twice awarded the Palme D'Or at the prestigious La Rochelle International Sailing Film Festival: in 1983 for Part One – the story of the first leg, ending with the capsize and dismasting of Jean-du-Sud in the Pacific; then in 1985, for Part Two – the story of the voyage’s successful completion. Entered in seven international film festivals, Jean-du-Sud won a total of nine awards: five Gold, two with a unanimous jury, and one Silver. The film has been broadcast on television in eleven countries and has sold thousands of copies on VHS, DVD and as a standard definition download. Now it will be available in its full beauty through High Definition.