Nautical Tales, Yarns and Biographies page six.


RACING NARRATIVES



See also Shipwrecks and Maritime Disasters

  • Tom Diaper's Logbook
  • The Comeback
  • Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race.
  • Winging It
  • Mine's Bigger
  • The Billionaire and the Mechanic. Paperback.
  • Grand Ambition
  • Temple to the Wind - paperback
  • A Full Cup - paperback
  • Golden Lily
  • Close to the Wind
  • Race Against Time
  • A Race Too Far
  • A Voyage for Madmen
  • The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst
  • Into the Storm
  • Left for Dead
  • Fastnet, Force 10
  • A World of My Own
  • Team Spirit
  • The Proving Ground
  • Fatal Storm - 10th Anniversary edition

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    TOM DIAPER'S LOGBOOK.
    By Capt. Tom Diaper. Hardback, 0.30kgs, 140mm x 2222mm, 178 pages, Black & White photographs. Reprinted 2016
    Captain Tom Diaper (1867-1949) was one of the most renowned racing skippers of the early 20th century. He wrote his memoirs on scraps of paper and old cigarette papers and these were pulled together to give a narrative of his life from a toddler on his father’s yacht until his retirement as skipper. First published in 1950, a year after Tom’s death, his logbook tells of dramatic races with the German Kaiser, a stormy crossing of the Atlantic on Sir Thomas Lipton’s Shamrock and detective work for the Pinkerton Detective Agency.

    Tom Diaper’s Logbook is a rare opportunity to read firsthand about the drama, conflict and fascinating details that made up the life of a for-hire racing skipper on 6-foot gaff cutters during the glory days of racing. This beautiful revised edition of a much-loved memoir now contains explanatory footnotes on the ships and people Tom sailed with, as well as the original photography and a new foreword from renowned gaffing sailor and fan of the book, Tom Cunliffe.

    Lovers of sea stories, pacy action and real-life adventure will devour Tom Diaper’s pithy observations, undiluted by tact or political correctness, on a life far removed from today’s sailing world.

    NZ$33.00 + delivery.

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    THE COMEBACK.
    By G. Bruce Knecht. Paperback, 125mm x 205mm, 136 pages, Black & White images. Published 2016
    Larry's Ellison's America's Cup team was down 1-8. New Zealand needed just one more win. Oracle ultimately beat back the odds in what's been called the greatest comeback in sport. But was it? G. Bruce Knecht set out to investigate how Oracle turned things around and, most particularly, the source of extra horsepower that seemed to come from nowhere during the final races. What he discovered was that the team was using a sailing technique that was prohibited under the rules. The Comeback is a pulse-pounding account of Oracle's desperate stop-at-nothing campaign.

    NZ$40.00 + delivery.

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    GORDON BENNETT AND THE FIRST YACHT RACE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC.

    By Sam Jefferson. Paperback, 0.22kg, 128mm x 198mm, 282 pages, Black and white, and Colour Photographs. This edition published 2017.

    The story of the first ever offshore yacht race, and the notorious New York playboy who won it.

    The 1866 transatlantic yacht race was a match that saw three yachts battle their way across the Atlantic in the dead of winter in pursuit of a $90,000 prize. Six men died in the brutal and close-fought contest, and the event changed the perception of yachting from a slightly effete gentlemen's pursuit into something altogether more rugged and adventurous. The race also symbolized the beginning of America's 'gilded age', with its associated obscene wealth and largesse (the $90,000 prize put up by the three contestants is about $15 million in today's money), as well as the thawing of relations between the US and UK.

    The narrative focuses on the victorious yacht Henrietta and her owner James Gordon Bennett. Bennett was the son of the multimillionaire proprietor of the New York Herald, and a notorious playboy. His infamous stunts included driving his carriage through the streets of New York naked, tipping a railway porter $30,000, and turning up at his own engagement party blind drunk and mistaking the fire for a urinal, which led to the coining of the phrase 'Gordon Bennett!'. However, Bennett was also a serious yachtsman and had served with distinction during the civil war aboard Henrietta, and he was the only owner to be aboard his own boat during the race.

    Other characters include Bennett's captain Samuel Samuels (legendary clipper skipper, ex-convict and occasional vaudeville actor), financier Leonard Jerome, aboard Henrietta as race invigilator (he also happened to be grandfather to Winston Churchill) and Stephen Fisk, a journalist so desperate to cover the race that he evaded a summons to appear as a witness in court and instead smuggled himself aboard Henrietta in a crate of champagne.

    Using the framework of the race to discuss the various historical themes, there's ample drama, and the diverse and eccentric range of characters ensure that this is a book laced with plenty of human interest, scandal and adventure.

    NZ$20.00 + delivery.

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    Also 1 copy still available in Hardback NZ$40.00 + delivery.

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    WINGING IT.

    By Diane Swintal, R Steven Tsuchiya, Robert Kamins. Paperback, 0.38kg, 188mm x 232mm, 218 pages, Black and white photographs. Published 2014.

    There are many come-from-behind wins in sporting history, but none that equal the events of the 2013 America's Cup. Millions of sailing enthusiasts and casual fans alike watched in awe as Oracle, trailing one point to New Zealand's eight, was first to the finish line in eight consecutive races.This miracle triumph left many wondering, (including four million New Zealanders), the big question...."How did they do it?"

    The answers come together in Winging it, with insights from naval architects and builders on their radical boat designs, the consequences of racing these untested boats, and explanations of how the foils and wingsails -rarely seen on boats before - work. The book explores the impact of events that led to the Cup, including how a sudden capsize threw the entire event into doubt before the 2013 America's Cup ultimately delivered an epic finale. Top sailors share their stories, including the victorious Jimmy Spithill on 17 and the defeated ETNZ skipper Dean Barker.

    This is the story of an historic win that goes beyond the emotions of the day to explain how the many months of innovation, research, trials, and failures helped secure the Cup in the final race on September 25. A day that broke the hearts of many, many New Zealanders.

    NZ$39.00 + delivery.

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    MINE"S BIGGER.
    By David A. Kaplan. Paperback, 150mm x 230mm, 268 pages, colour photos.
    Tom Perkins, the venture capitalist behind such companies as Google, Genentech, Amazon, and AOL, doesn’t do things halfway. When he collected vintage cars, for instance, he had the world’s largest collection of Bugatti automobiles. And when he decided to pursue a lifelong dream and build a sailing yacht, he went the whole nine yards: He decided it would be the world’s largest yacht-big enough to fit Noah’s Ark on its deck. He wanted it to sail at a record 26 knots, under unprecedented physical forces. And, he thought, having built this marine wonder, why not use it to try to smash the 155-year-old world sailing record from New York to San Francisco around Cape Horn?
    So Perkins built “the perfect yacht”-as long as a football field, 42 feet wide, and with three masts so tall they will just fit under the great suspension bridges of the world. The Maltese Falcon, as he dubbed his ship, uses technology no clipper skipper ever imagined-a rig with no sheets, no stays, no halyards-just free-standing, rotating carbon fiber masts with 18 sails surging freely in the wind. At $130 million, it is a technological marvel-as complex as the man himself.
    But the Maltese Falcon is a marvel of mechanics, engineering, and techonology, married with the romance of the age of sail, dressed out in the finest accommodations money can buy and the human mind can imagine. More than just the story of the boat, Mine’s Bigger is a broader profile of the combination of ambition, recklessness, bravado, and achievements of a 21st century entrepreneur and his time.

    NZ$36.00 + delivery.

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    THE BILLIONAIRE AND THE MECHANIC.
    By Julian Guthrie. Paperback, 0.41kg, 138mm x 210mm, 415 pages, section with full colour photographs, Published 2014.
    This is the paperback edition of the previously released (2013) hardback. The cover is far superior, with a wonderful colour photograph of Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand. This edition has a lengthy new section on the 34th America's Cup.

    The America's Cup, first awarded in 1851, is the oldest trophy in international sports, and one of the most hotly contested. In 2000, Larry Ellison, cofounder and billionaire CEO of Oracle Corporation, decided he would mount a challenge for the Cup. But the Cup is contested between clubs, not individuals. And when negotiations between Oracle Racing and San Francisco' Tony St Francis Yacht Club fell apart, Larry was left without a sponsor.

    Down the road from the St. Francis is the Golden Gate Yacht Club, founded in 1939 as the blue-collar antidote to the blue-blooded St Francis. Norbert Bajurin, a car-radiator mechanic and former cop, had recently been named commodore, only to find that the Golden Gate was on the verge of bankruptcy and at risk of closing forever. When Norbert heard the news about Oracle Racing, he hit on a crazy idea: to sponsor Ellison's team in a bid for the America's Cup.

    The Billioniare and the Mechanic tells the incredible story of the unexpected partnership - and friendship - between Larry and Norbert, and offers a gripping look at their runs for the Cup in 2003 and 2007 and their victory in 2010. With unparalleled access to Ellison and his team, Julian Guthrie takes readers behind the scenes with the fascinating billionaire, deep inside the design and building of these astonishing boats, including one with the largest wing ever built, and into the lives of the athletes who race them. She traces the bitter rivalries between teams, and throws readers into exhilirating races around the world. With new television technology and huge media coverage, the America's Cup is poised to be bigger than ever and The Billionaire and the Mechanic is essential for anyone interested in the Cup or the remarkable story of a pair of dreamers.

    NZ$50.00 + delivery.

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    GRAND AMBITION.

    By G. Bruce Knecht. Paperback. 0.26 kg, 140mm x 215mm, 244 pages, Black & white photographs.
    Doug Von Allmen, a self-made man who grew up in a landlocked state dreaming of the ocean, was poised to build a 187-foot yacht that would cost over $40 million. lady linda would not be among the largest of the burrgeoning fleet of oceangoing palace, but Von Allmen vowed that it would be the best ever made in the United States. Nothing would be ordinary. The interior walls would be made from rare species of burl wood, the floors paved with onyx and exotic types of marble, the furniture custom made, and the art specially commissioned.
    But the 2008 economic crisis changed everything. Von Allmen's lifestyle suddenly became unaffordable. Then it got worse: desperate to reverse his losses, he fell for an audacious Ponzi scheme. Would Von Allmen be able to complete the Lady Linda? Would the shipyard and its one thousand employees survive the financial meltdown?
    The divide between the very rich and everyone else had never been greater, yet the livelihoods of the workers, some of them illegal immigrants, and the yacht owners were inextricably intertwined. In a sweeping high-stakes narrative, the critically acclaimed author of The Proving Ground and Hooked weaves Von Allmen's story together with those of the men and women who are building his yacht. As the pursuit of opulence collides with the reality of economic decline, everyone involved in the massive project is forced to rethink the meaning of the American Dream.

    NZ$42.00 + Delivery

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    TEMPLE TO THE WIND.
    By Christopher Pastore. Paperback, 0.42 kgs, 152mm x 235mm, 290 pages, monochrome photos. Published 2013
    Reliance was a yacht like no other, built in 1903, at the end of the age of sail. A marvel of her time, Reliance's topsail yard towered nearly 190 feet above the water, with sails stretching 202 feet from the bowsprit to the booms end. Many said Reliance, carrying more sail than any single-masted boat before, was simply too dangerous to sail, but the stakes were awesome. By the turn of the century, racing for the America's Cup had become more than a gentleman's game. In 1903 it was an all-or-nothing contest - fraught with political tension - between two great rivals, Britain and America.

    Behind Reliance was a gallery of American greats. There was Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, America's greatest yacht designer, also known as the wizard of Bristol. And there were the robber barons like J.P.Morgan, James J. Hill, William Rockefeller, and Cornelius Vanderbilt III, who had made America an industrial force to be reckoned with. Such men spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to win the America's Cup, but they weren't willing to bankroll the contest indefinitely and endeavored to build a boat so powerful it would discourage the British for years to come. On the other side of the Atlantic, however, Sir Thomas Lipton, scrappy founder of the Lipton tea and grocery empire, was determined to win and put his personal fortune behind the construction of an equally bold challenger, his Shamrock III.

    From conception to construction, through hair-raising sea trials - including fatalities during the testing of the yachts - to the grand finale of a race like no other, author Christopher Pastore brings to life this most beautiful and dangerous vessel, as well as the hearts it won and the hearts it broke. It is simply one of the most exciting sea tales ever told.

    NZ$45.00 + delivery.

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    A FULL CUP.
    By Michael D'Antonio. Paperback, 0.59kg, 160mm x 235mm, 354 pages, monochrome photos.
    Today Lipton means tea. However, in his time Sir Thomas Lipton was known for much more. Raised in desperate poverty, he became wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. He built a global empire of markets, factories, plantations, and stockyards. And his colourful pursuit of the America's Cup trophy - the ultimate in international sport - made him a beloved figure on both sides of the Atlantic.
    In A Full Cup , Michael D'Antonio tells the tale of this larger-than-life figure. beginning with a journey across the United States just after the Civil War, Thomas J. Lipton developed the ambition and learned the business techniques that helped him create the first chain of grocery stores anywhere in the world. Enormously wealthy before age thirty, he set his sights on the tea trade, and soon his name became synonymous with his product.
    Lipton's great business success makes for a compelling story of innovation and achievement. Moreover, Lipton's most intriguing creation was a public persona - one of the first formed with the help of modern mass media - that appealed to millions of ordinary people. With simple stunts like elephant parades, Lipton mastered the new art of obtaining free publicity. With shameless self-promotion be became one of the world's most eligible bachelors, and a patron of the poor. The Lipton legend reached its height when he revived the competition for the America's Cup. With one losing attempt after another, the gallant Lipton, who didn't even know how to sail his own yacht, became ever more popular. A'Antonio's absorbing portrait brings this remarkable self-made man and intrepid sailor to vivid life.

    NZ$26.00 + delivery.

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    GOLDEN LILY.
    . By Lilia Xu. Paperback, 0.20kg, 128mm x 198mm, 192 pages. Full colour photographs, Published 2016.
    The fascinating autobiography from Asia’s first ever dinghy sailing gold medallist.

    Learning to sail and becoming a full-time athlete at just 10 years old, Lijia Xu was taken away from her parents and enrolled on the gruelling Chinese training regime, a programme meticulously prescribed across all sporting disciplines to catapult the nation’s talented youngsters to international champions. A rare insight into a shocking world of relentless physical training and unquestioning mental compliance, Lijia’s honest and heart-felt account takes you on her journey from physical disabilities and debilitating injuries to learning to think for herself, eventually going on to achieve her dream of becoming an Olympic gold medallist. This is an inspirational story of a young woman’s will to succeed despite all that her background threw at her.

    NZ$32.00 + delivery.

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    BEN AINSLIE: CLOSE TO THE WIND.
    Britain's Greatest Olympic sailor. By Ben Ainslie with Nick Townsend. Paperback, 0.25kg, 130mm x 198mm, 289 pages. Full colour photographs, Reprint 2012. First published 2009.
    An interesting self portrait of the greatest ever Olympic sailor and a true British hero. From his proudest moment representing Team GB to the tough decision that almost destroyed his career, this is a unique insight into the man who cannot let himself be second best. This book shows what really takes place in the white heat of competion. None of us can ever forget, of course, the difference he made to the 2013 America's Cup, and, while this book was published before that and those events, it does give a good understanding about the man who broke our hearts. The most accomplished competitor in British sport.

    NZ$28.00 + delivery.

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    RACE AGAINST TIME
    By Ellen MacArthur, Paperback, 130mm x 198mm, 287 pages, full colour photographs.
    On the night of 7th February 2005, Ellen MacArthur became the fastest person ever to sail solo round the world. The record had been held by a Frenchman who had slashed over twenty days off the previous time - a feat that many experts claimed would be almost impossible to emulate, let alone beat. But in a superhuman effort that saw her dig deeper into her reserves of courage and strength than ever before, Ellen triumphed and some claimed she was now the finest sailor Britain had ever produced.
    Drawing on personal logs, emails, audio and video diaries, this book is Ellen's own fully illustrated story, capturing the drama, excitement, danger, joy and tears of a truly extraordinary achievement.

    NZ$40.00 + delivery.

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    A RACE TOO FAR
    By Chris Eakins, Paperback, 125mm x 198mm, 320 pages, 0.25kg. Black & White photographs. Published 2016
    In 1968, the Sunday Times organised the Golden Globe race–an incredible test of endurance never before attempted–a round the world yacht race that must be completed single-handed and non-stop.

    This remarkable challenge inspired those daring to enter–with or without sailing experience. A Race Too Far is the story of how the race unfolded, and how it became a tragedy for many involved.

    Of the nine sailors who started the race, four realised the madness of the undertaking and pulled out within weeks. The remaining five each have their own remarkable story. Chay Blyth, fresh from rowing the Atlantic with John Ridgway, had no sailing experience but managed to sail round the Cape of Good Hope before retiring. Nigel Tetley sank while in the lead with 1,100 nautical miles to go, surviving but dying in tragic circumstances two years later. Donald Crowhurst began showing signs of mental illness and tried to fake a round the world voyage. His boat was discovered adrift in an apparent suicide, but his body was never found. Bernard Moitessier abandoned the race and carried on to Tahiti, where he settled and fathered a child despite having a wife and family in Paris. Robin Knox-Johnston was the only one to complete the race.

    Chris Eakin recreates the drama of the epic race, talking to all those touched by the Golden Globe: the survivors, the widows and the children of those who died. It is a book that both evokes the primary wonder of the adventure itself and reflects on what it has come to mean to both those involved and the rest of us in the forty years since.

    This true story of the tragic round-the-world yacht race is now the subject of a major film 'The Mercy'

    NZ$30.00 + delivery.

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    A VOYAGE FOR MADMEN.
    By Peter Nichols. Pbk, 134mm x 204mm, 298 pages.
    In 1968, nine sailors set off on the most daring race ever held: to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe nonstop. It was a feat that had never been accomplished and one that would forever change the face of sailing. Ten months later, only one of the nine men would cross the finish line and earn fame, wealth, and glory. For the others, the reward was madness, failure, and death.
    In this extraordinary book, Peter Nichols chronicles a contest of the individual against the sea, waged at a time before cell phones, satellite dishes, and electronic positioning systems. A Voyage for Madmen is a tale of sailors driven by their own dreams and demons, of horrific storms in the Southern Ocean, and of those riveting moments when a split-second decision means the difference between life and death.

    NZ$30.00 + delivery.

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    THE STRANGE LAST VOYAGE OF DONALD CROWHURST.
    By Nicholas Tomalin & Ron Hall. Paperback, 0.18kg, 130mm x 198mm, 248 pages, black & white images. (This edition published 2016).
    In the autumn of 1968, Donald Crowhurst set out from England in an improbable-looking plywood trimarans to compete in the first singlehanded nonstop round-the-world sailboat race. Although his previous sailing experience was limited, his boat unready, and the electronic gadgetry of his own design unfinished and untested, Crowhurst had managed to persuade first and affluent backer, then the contest judges, and, finally England’s media to regard him as a serious contender. Sailing south through the Atlantic, he radioed reports of record-breaking sailing performances. In the South Atlantic he announced that low battery power would require him to maintain radio silence through the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Eleven weeks later he broke his silence to tell the world he had rounded Cape Horn and was sailing north for England, the elapsed-time leader of the race. Then tragedy struck. Eight months after his departure, Crowhurst’s Teigmouth Electron was discovered adrift in an eerie mid-Atlantic calm, intact but without the skipper.

    In this tour de force of investigative journalism, Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall tell the story of Donald Crowhurst’s ill-fated voyage. Working from Crowhurst’s recovered logs and diaries, the authors reconstruct the events leading up to his disappearance: his first few weeks at sea and his growing distrust of his boat; his attempts to come to grips with imminent failure; his decision to hide out mid-ocean in the South Atlantic, away from shipping lanes, faking a round-the-world journey; and his final, desperate escape from discovery as the would-be perpetrator of one of the biggest hoaxes in sailing history.

    From in-depth interviews with Crowhurst’s family and friends and telling excerpts from his logbooks, Tomalin and Hall develop a tale of tragic self-delusion and public deception, a haunting portrait of a complex, deeply troubled man and his journey into the heart of darkness.

    NZ$28.00 + delivery.

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    INTO THE STORM. Lessons in Teamwork from the Treacherous Sydney to Hobart Race
    By Dennis N.T. Perkins and Jillian B. Murphy. Hardback, 0.61kg, 160mm x 235m, 2724 pages, section with full colour illlustrations. Published 2012.
    The iconic Sydney to Hobart Race, a 723-mile deepwater challenge - often called the "Everest" of offshore racing - is considered one of the toughest in the world. Unpredictable weather and seas make each race demanding, but in 1998, an unexpected "weather bomb" hit the fleet, creating 80-foot waves and 100-mile-per-hour winds.

    Many bigger, better-equipped boats tried to maneuver around the storm, but the crew of the AFR Midnight Rambler chose to head directly into its path. After battling mountainous waves and hurricane force-winds in the Bass Strait, the tiny 35-foot boat arrived safely in Hobart, 3 days and 16 hours later - winning the coveted Tattersall's Cup.

    What were the factors underlying this incredible achievement? Into the Storm recounts the story of the Rambler's stunning victory, and the teamwork that made it possible - revealing powerful lessons for success in today's demanding business environment. Illustrated with examples from the story and compelling case studies, this riverting adventure story provides effective methods you can use to;

  • Cut through the noise of the wind and waves. Inventive methods of comunication enabled the Ramblers to stay cohesive in spite of deafening wind and waves. What can your team do when flooded by e-mails, voice mails, conflicting demands, and other distractions?
  • Remove all excuses for failure. One of the most distinctive characteristics of the Rambler crew was their focus on careful preparation. The crew spent hours practising maneuvers so they could do them in the toughest conditions - in rough seas, and at night. Winning teams devoted extensive time and energy to preparation, leaving nothing to chance.
  • Deal with the things that slow you down. Conflict is a natural occurence in any group, but it can be productive when managed appropriately. The Rambler's tale of survival reveals techniques for dealing with the stress and tension that impair team performance,

    The Ramblers' success resulted from an extraordianry blend of collaboration, trust, planning, and execution. Into the Storm equips you with the tools to overcome daunting odds and win your team trophy.

    NZ$49.00 + delivery.

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    LEFT FOR DEAD.
    By Nick Ward with Sinead O'Brien. Pbk, 127mm x 197mm, 290 pages, black & white and colour photographs.
    Sailing in the Fastnet Race on the yacht Grimalkin had been a dream come true for Nick, but the dream turned to a nightmare when, in the midst of colossal waves and unremitting winds, Grimalkin was capsized again and again. The skipper was lost overboard, and after hours of exhausting struggle three of the crew abandoned the boat for the life raft. Nick and his fellow crewmemeber Gerry, both injured and unconscious, were left on the beleaguered yacht, presumed dead.
    In the middle of the deadliest storm in the history of modern sailing, Nick Ward somehow managed to live to tell his tale. The world famous Fastnet Race of 1979 began in near perfect weather, but within 48 hours was struck by a horrific storm. By the time it has passed, it had mercilessly taken the lives of 15 sailors.
    This is Nick Ward's moving and inspirational account of his survival - against all odds - a story that has remained untold for 27 years, until now.

    NZ$25 .00 + Delivery

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    FASTNET FORCE 10
    By John Rousmaniere. Pbk, 153mm x 227mm, 288 pages.
    On August 11, 1979, 303 yachts began the 600-mile Fastnet Race from the Isle of Wight off the southwest coast of England to Fastnet Rock off the Irish coast and back. It began in fine weather, then suddenly became a terrifying ordeal. A Force 10, sixty-knot storm swept across the North Atlantic with a speed that confounded forecasters, slamming into the fleet with epic fury. For twenty hours, 2,500 men and women were smashed by forty-foot breaking waves, while rescue helicopters and lifeboats struggled to save them. By the time the race was over, fifteen people had died, twenty-four crews had abandoned ship, five yachts had sunk, 136 sailors had been rescued, and only 85 boats had finished the race. John Rousmaniere was there, and het tells the story as only one who has sailed through the teeth of a killer storm can. In a new introduction for this edition, he discusses the effects of the tragedy and whether it could happen again today.

    NZ$35.00 + delivery.

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    A WORLD OF MY OWN
    By Robin Knox-Johnson. Pbk, 137mm x 216mm, 244 pages.
    On Friday 14 June 1968 Suhaili, a tiny ketch, slipped almost unnoticed out of Falmouth harbour with a solitary figure at her helm; the modest, likeable, 29-year old merchant navy officer, Robin Knox-Johnston. Ten and a half months later Suhaili, paintwork peeling and rust streaked, her once white sails weathered and brown, sailed triumphantly back to Falmouth to a fantastic reception for the laughing young Englishman who had become the first man to sail round the world non-stop single-handed.
    It was an incredible adventure, and every temptation to abandon the voyage came Robin's way; his water tanks were polluted, a storm put his radio out of action, his self-steering gear disintegrated, his main boom collapsed, his tiller sheered off, but he refused to give up.
    A World of My Own is Robin Knox-Johnston's enthralling and inspiring account of one of the greatest sea adventures of our time.

    NZ$27.50 + delivery.

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    TEAM SPIRIT
    By Brendan Hall. Paperback, 0.26kg, 129mm x 198mm, 256 pages, colour photographs. Published 2013.
    Subtitled “Life and Leadership on one of the Toughest Yacht Races” this was always going to be a business book as well as a book about yacht racing.

    Brendan Hall was determined to be skipper on one of the Clipper Round the World Race Boats and had his heart set on winning the race as well. Not an easy task as the competition was very tough. Brendan set about getting the skipper’s job with grim determination and his preparation was exceptional. With his first dream of getting a skipper’s job fulfilled, the next task was preparing to win the race.
    To achieve the win he had to prepare and train the crew who were all non-professional sailors who had paid for the privilege of being part of the crew. This was a major task as it came down to his leadership skills but again, with meticulous preparation he pulled if off in great style despite being the youngest, at 28 years of age, as well as the least experienced skipper in the race.
    Winning the race was no accident but the culmination of exceptional preparation, relentless training, skilled navigation and above all a winning leadership style. As he had discovered early on in his preparation that being a race-winning skipper was going to be about 20% sailing skills and 80% people-management skills.
    This book expertly combines the excitement of the story of the race with the leadership skill lessons which makes for a very exciting read indeed. As an added extra he starts every chapter with a very relevant quote or proverb from a famous or well known person for example: “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” (Winston Churchill), “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” (Aristotle), “No great achievement is possible without persistent work” (Bertrand Russell) etc.
    I think everyone can learn a lesson or two from this book and apply it to a part of their lives and I can recommend this book to all would-be racing skippers and crew as well as anyone wanting to read an exciting racing yarn and learn some valuable lessons along the way.

    NZ$25.00 + delivery.

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    THE PROVING GROUND.
    By G. Bruce Knecht. Pbk, 110mm x 180mm, 283 pages, monochrome photographs.
    The worst disaster in recent ocean racing history began on Boxing Day 1998, a perfect summer day on Sydney Harbour, in New South Wales, Australia.
    One hundred and fifteen boats set out from Sydney but only forty-three reached the finish line - in Hobart, Tasmania. In the cycloe that shredded the fleet seven boats were abandoned, five sank, six sailors died and fifty-five needed to be pulled from the water.
    This book is a "page-turner" of the highest order and it is more than one of the most compelling adventure stories written in years. It is an incisive look at the forces that continue to draw men who have triumphed on land to risk everything at sea.

    NZ$25.00 + delivery.

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    FATAL STORM, The 54th Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
    By Rob Mundle. Pbk, 130mm x 200mm, 380 pages, colour photographs.
    This deals with the same topic as Proving Ground above. The Sydney to Hobart yacht race is one of the world's major sporting events. In 1998 it became one of the world's major sporting disasters. Six sailors tragically lost their lives and countless others suffered injuries, and numerous yachts sank or were badly damaged. The subsequent search and rescue operation was one of the most phenomenally accomplished peacetime efforts the world has ever seen.
    In this fully updated edition to mark the 10th anniversary of the tumultuous race, Rob Mundle, one of Australia’s leading journalists and yachtsmen, tells this story of challenge and survival with compassion, vigour and understanding.

    NZ$31.00 + delivery.

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    Nautical Tales, Yarns and Biographies page six.


    RACING NARRATIVES



    See also Shipwrecks and Maritime Disasters

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