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Posted November 10, 2000
I think it's a Keeper
I often will stop by the airport bookstore when heading out of town. A good book can turn a 2-hour, totally boring, flight into an eye blink of a jet ride. And I¿ll say the ¿Godforsaken Sea¿ turned my 2-hour flight into an eye blink. The book presents a factual account of the 1996-97 Vendee Globe Race. The Vendee Globe is, in my opinion, the beast of offshore racing. It starts in November off the coast of France, heads south for a grand tour of the Southern Ocean and then heads back to the finish line in France some five months later. It¿s a single handed, around the world, nonstop, no outside assistance race, and this book lays it all out. It give glimpses of the preparations, provides a good description of the boats, the weather, and just the incredible awesomeness of the whole thing, and the aftermath. In addition, it provides some background on the racers and gives glimpses into their personalities and some insights into what drives these larger than life sailors. The book is based on personal interviews with the racers and the race director, Philippe Jeantot. It was this race where one boat lost its keel and the skipper spent several days in his up-turned boat until he was successfully rescued. Another boat was rolled over and never righted itself. The skipper spent several days on the hull waiting for rescue. A final competitor was lost at sea and never found although some months later his boat turned up off the coast of South America. I will admit to some personal bias regarding this book as this type of sailing fascinates me. This is a book I couldn¿t put down. If you enjoy reading about the challenges of extreme sailing or about single handed sailing then this is a book I recommend. Although the writing is a bit lacking in its imagery and avoids long diversions into the meaning of it all, it does eloquent justice in providing an interesting and factual account of the 1996-97 Vendee Globe. For me this book is a keeper.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 24, 2000
Insight into Vendee's 96-97 great adventure
Lundy's admiration for the Vendee sailor's is communicated loudly and repetitively. His book offers insight into an amazing single-sailor around-the-world race. The author is a bit heavy on descriptions of racer's personalities and light on vivid scenic narratives. The book offers a similar sailing experience for the reader as the author following it on his PC or later questioning the sailors during interviews. In the end, the reader gets an exciting glimpse into probably the most extreme sailing experience on earth and an itch for the open ocean.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.