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The America's Cup has always been a hotbed of unbridled ambition, personal agendas, intrigue, spying and, more recently, hard-fought court cases – and that's before the boats even get out on the water to race. Exposed: The Dark Side of the America's Cup lifts the lid on this unique contest for the oldest trophy in sport and on the powerful men who have made it 'the toughest game in town'. For some it has been the key to social advancement, for others it has opened important doors in the business and commercial world, and in some cases it has become a magnificent obsession. It is the pinnacle of achievement in a sport that was once the domain of the wealthy but which today has become fertile territory for a new breed of super-wealthy owners and sailing professionals who would change the event forever.
Exposed is a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of one of the most compelling and controversial contests in the whole of sport.
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On June 26, 2017, on the turquoise waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound, Peter Burling (26) became the youngest ever helmsman to win the premier trophy in sailing, the America's Cup.
Amongst several other firsts, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron became the first club ever to win back the America’s Cup — and did so against one of the best funded and technologically astute teams in the 166-year history of the event.
Along with sailing partner Blair Tuke, Burling put down another marker in sailing history to become the first crew to win an Olympic Gold medal and an America’s Cup inside a 12-month period.
The rookie New Zealand crew, of whom only one had previous America’s Cup experience, trounced the Defender, Oracle Team USA led by the brash Australian, Jimmy Spithill who had ripped the heart out of the Kiwi sailing nation just four years before.
Lone Wolf is a celebration of the Emirates Team New Zealand win in Bermuda, written from an on the water perspective by one of the world’s most influential America’s Cup photo-journalists, Richard Gladwell, who also shot many of the images used in the 200-page book. This include images deliberately withheld prior to the Cup as they were “too revealing” of the Kiwi boat and technology.
Gladwell closely followed Emirates Team New Zealand through its highs and lows after the 2013 upset in San Francisco. He captured the first images of the “cyclors” on the morning the AC50 Aotearoa was first splashed in Auckland and broke that story to the sailing world.
He was in Bermuda for the 28 days of racing in the 35th America’s Cup Regatta and had a ringside view of the racing from a photography boat. Gladwell was in a unique first-hand position to see the highs and lows of the New Zealand campaign and will relate how a remarkable victory unfolded.
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What goes on inside the head of this extremely focused man who is a true pioneer in the game called sailing? Here he tells his rags-to-riches story of fierce determination, court cases, seasickness, crashed boats and cars, alcohol, the greatest comeback ever in sporting history and the dramatic 2017 America's Cup defence. All of it contributed to turning a quiet, bullied, water-loving blue-collar redhead born in Sydney into one of sailing's biggest rockstars.
Far from the official media-trained account so often found in the closed-off world of the America's Cup, Jimmy's open, honest style gives us a rare insight into what goes on inside the head of a man at the top of his game. A compelling read, with many lessons in leadership, teamwork and achieving your dreams, no matter how impossible they might seem.
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Also available in Hardback
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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. 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.
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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'
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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.
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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;
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.
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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.
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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.
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