Synopses & Reviews
Why saw the handle off your toothbrush? Why tackle the world's stormiest waters in a fragile craft that has never weathered such seas before? The answer to both these questions is the same: to sail faster than anyone ever has before.
In engrossing, suspenseful detail, The Race relates how and why participants in the first running of The Race risked millions of dollars and their lives to dash around the world in record time. Other contests have pushed people and boats past their limits, but no race has ever left so little margin for error. For this very reason, The Race attracted the world's best sailors, among them a Chicago multimillionaire who has set more than twenty records in competitions ranging from ballooning to flying to sailing, a young Briton best known for risking his life to fish a competitor out of the Southern Ocean during a solo round-the-world race, and a hard-nosed New Zealander with virtually no experience skippering multihulls the huge, fast, notoriously unstable boats that ran The Race. Zimmermann also chronicles the tumultuous history of extreme sailing, in craft from nineteenth-century clipper ships to today's dangerous, high-tech marvels with masts fifteen stories tall, which are capable of making up to fifty miles per hour. He spotlights the protean personalities that have driven the sport: Joshua Slocum, who completed the first solo voyage around the world, aided by hallucinations of an old salt beside him at the helm; "Blondie" Hasler, an iconoclastic World War II hero who outraged the risk-averse sailing establishment by organizing the first single-handed transatlantic race; and Francis Chichester, the sailor who won it, despite weighing his small craft down with such luxuries as bottles of claret and a smoking jacket. Tim Zimmermann, an experienced blue-water sailor, graces this high-tension saga with rich atmosphere, historical depth, and singular emotional intensity.
"High-tension adventure." Atlantic Monthly
"A sophisticated chronicle that keeps the drama thrumming along nicely....told with just the kind of finesse the contest deserves." Kirkus Reviews
"Zimmermann keeps the action continuous and tense...An exciting and fascinating story." Derek Lundy, author of Godforsaken Sea
An invigorating behind-the-scenes look at the world of extreme sailing, The Race is also a taut, engrossing account of the first running of the competition called The Race, which began on December 31, 2000, in Barcelona and ended sixty-two days later in Marseilles. The most intense event of its kind -- a nonstop circumnavigation of the globe in the fastest boats ever built -- The Race attracts some of the world's best sailors and arguably its most eccentric personalities.
Tim Zimmermann, an experienced blue-water sailor, relates in knuckle-whitening detail how and why sailors risk millions of dollars and their lives to dash around the world in record time. He garnishes this story with a chronicle of the tumultuous history of extreme sailing from the nineteenth century to today. Zimmermann "puts the reader right on board with the tough, colorful crews as they take a crash course (sometimes literally) in how to handle these astonishing machines" (Derek Lundy, author of Godforsaken Sea).
About the Author
Tim Zimmermann is a contributing editor for Outside and a former senior editor and senior diplomatic correspondent for U.S. News & World Report. He has written about the sailing world for Sports Illustrated, Sail, and others. He lives in Edgewater, Maryland.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1 1. Clippers, Toffs, and an American Original 12 2. Cockleshell Heroes 37 3. The Golden Globe 56 4. Modern Mayhem 75 5. A New Breed of Cat 91 6. Speed and Carnage 116 7. The Trials of Team Philips 134 8. To the Atlantic 152 9. To the Equator 178 10. To the Southern Ocean 203 11. Southern Ocean Derby 224 12. Southern Ocean Express 248 13. Cape Horn and Home 274 Epilogue 304 Sources 313