As a skipper, Conner won the most coveted of all sailing trophies three times. He was also the first American ever to lose it. The prevailing winds of his sport have consistently blown such that if Conner could just direct as much hot air into his sails as he does into his complaints and protests he would probably never lose a race.
Conner's trademark impetuousness is on display throughout The America's Cup, but so is his substantial grasp of sailing history, technology, and strategy. He's a gregarious storyteller, adept at lowering the boom on boathouse intrigue, particularly when he comes out the better for it. If the portions of Cup that deal with his own career--and given his longevity, they are substantial--tend to sound like a series of advertisements and excuses for himself, that's always been the direction he's tacked. Conner may whine, but he's not boring, and neither is Cup: he refuses to drown his animosity toward Ted Turner, winner of the 1977 race, and Alan Bond, the Australian renegade by whom Conner was outsailed and outmaneuvered in 1983. Conner's personality, for better or worse, steers his book, just as, for better or worse, it's steered his ships in competition. --Jeff Silverman
From Publishers Weekly
In 1992 Levitt published a history of the America's Cup since its inception in 1851, subtitling it "the official record." But this collaboration with three-time Cup winner Conner is a livelier look at this international race, concentrating on the competition from 1903 to the present. Certainly the greatest change has been the democratization of the event: for the greater part of its life, the America's cup was the plaything of the super-rich like Harold Vanderbilt and Sir Thomas Lipton. Indeed, Lipton was such an admired perennial loser that, in his final attempt to win the Cup, most Americans were rooting for him. But in the 1970s such figures as American Ted Turner and Australian Alan Bond broke with the genteel tradition and, at a time when the race was taking on a more international flavor, focused on winning at all costs. Especially interesting are the Aussie win in 1983, ending the U.S. winning streak of 132 years, the longest in any sport, and New Zealand's victory of in 1995. Although much of the text, filled with sailing jargon and structural details of the ships, will interest only frequent sailors, the authors do a splendid job of bringing to life the eccentricities and egos of the participants. Photos.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.