Nichols, Peter "A Voyage for Madmen" - 2002
The title of this book is fantastic. The guys who undertook this journey really were mad, and if it didn't show before, it surely did afterwards. I am no big fan of sports but this book was really captivating. You just had to fear with the sailors and their families and friends. I loved this book - and so did the other members of my book club.
It's just amazing what people are willing to sacrifice for their five minutes of fame or even for the feeling to have done it. I'm all for winning, but not at any cost. And still, I understood those guys, somehow.
We discussed this in our book club in January 2005.
From the back cover: "The story of the last great sea adventure - the 1967/68 Golden Globe round the world yacht race. Nine people - a Frenchman, an Italian and six Englishmen began the race. Only one finished. This is their story.
In 1967 nine men set out in small boats to race each other round the world. It had never been done before. This was before satellites provided pin-point navigation. Their world at sea was far closer to Captain Cook's age than ours. When they sailed, heading for the world's stormiest seas, they vanished over the horizon into the unknown.
One man, sending reports of tremendous progress, never left the Atlantic. These were not sportsmen- one didn't even know how to sail. Once at sea, they were exposed to conditions frightening beyond imagination and loneliness almost unknown. Their boats were primitive compared with the today's yachts. The living space was the size of a VW bus. Sealed inside their tiny craft, the sailors met their truest selves. This it turned out, was their greatest danger. They failed and succeeded on the grandest scale."