Fastnet, Force 10

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Overview

In August 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...

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Fastnet, Force 10: The Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing (New Edition)

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Overview

In August 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 he tells the tragic story of the greatest disaster in the history of yachting as only one who has sailed through the teeth of a killer storm can. With a new introduction by the author.

In August 1979, the 600-mile Fastnet race, which began in fine weather off the Irish coast, became for the men and women sailing it a terrifying ordeal. A Force 10, sixty-knot storm swept across the Atlantic with a speed that confounded weathermen, into the fleet of 303 boats. Now Rousmaniere, who was there, tells of the greatest disaster in the history of yachting. Photographs.

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Editorial Reviews

Jonathan Raban
“I reread Fastnet, Force 10 for at least the fourth time, with pleasure and admiration, as always. For a long time now, it has been a huge favorite of mine; as a writer, I'm dazzled by [John Rousmaniere]'s sure-footed handling of a complex narrative, with multiple points of view, all beautifully woven into a continuous and powerful story. After twenty years, it still reads as freshly as ever.”
Gary Jobson
“John Rousmaniere's gripping account of that calamitous race is a must-read for anyone thinking about sailing offshore. This richly detailed account provides inspiration for all sailors to thoroughly prepare and use good sense at sea.”
John Bonds
“There are few new lessons in safety at sea. What we teach is the accumulated wisdom of centuries, passed down to us by those who took the trouble to think and then to write. [Fastnet, Force 10] is still the best single source of those lessons, in my view.... Thanks for a great book and a lifetime of caring for those who go down to the sea in ships.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393308655
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Series: Norton Nautical Book Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 287
  • Sales rank: 450,684
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

John Rousmaniere has sailed in over 35,000 miles of offshore voyaging and racing. He crewed on the 48-foot Toscana in the fateful Fastnet Race of 1979.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    Tedious

    This is a tough read. It is written in the style of a newspaper reporter who's editor went on a long vacation--i.e., it didn' t get edited. The author goes on and on (just the facts) with endless details from his reporter's notebook, without ever letting the reader get to know anyone enough to care about what happened to them. No interesting stories, no captivating narratives, no evidence that the author had any more writing skill than an insurance adjuster filling out an accident report. I love to sail and normally find sailing disaster stories fascinating and instructive. But reading this one is like watching bottom paint dry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2006

    Sailing at its best- Fastnet, Force 10

    Fastnet, Force 10 W.W. Norton & Company Ltd., 2000, 280p.p. John Rousmaniere ISBN 0-393-30865-0 Imagine a book that is extremely intense and action packed that involves large sail boats and a dangerous race. Multiply that by 5, and you have ¿Fastnet, Force 10¿. John Rousmaniere, the author, has been sailing for over forty years, and has written the best selling sailing manual. He says that this was the worst storm that he has experienced at sea. Rousmaniere is such a captivating writer that he has the reader in his shoes during one of the most fearsome storms that he has ever experienced. I enjoyed this book because of its intensity. It is not the adventurous book that I thought it would be, but it made up for it with the imagery and description. Somehow, sailing books always seem to be interesting when they are about storms at sea, but this is by far the most interesting that I have read yet. I enjoyed reading it, and recommend it to any high school student or adult that enjoys a relatively short, fun read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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