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The Race: The First Nonstop, Round-the-World, No-Holds-Barred Sailing Competition Hardcover – June 3, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1ST edition (June 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618117482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618117482
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,897,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Experienced sailor and Outside correspondent Zimmermann brings readers to a maritime marathon that circumnavigates the globe in sailing ships that travel up to 50 mph. With winning skippers grabbing monthly purses in excess of $20,000 and massive corporate sponsorship (PlayStation, Team Phillips and Club Med were some of the ships in the running), it should be no surprise that the event drew international recognition. Zimmermann elucidates the technical advancements of racing vessels from clipper ships to yachts to today's high-tech "maxi-catamarans." Armed with GPS systems, the personalities of multimillionaires and crews of 20, six such ships embarked from Barcelona on New Year's Eve 2000, racing past the equator and through the treacherous Southern Ocean to round Cape Horn and onward to port in Marseilles. Zimmermann keeps up the pace with a rapid play-by-play of the race as its contenders fight doldrums, stomach bland diets and dodge gigantic icebergs; he describes how the delicately balanced twin hulls of the maxi-catamarans faced easy damage in severe waves and poor weather. In the end, only two of the ships completed the voyage. Despite Zimmermann's technical moxie, the dramatic flair here is surprisingly lackluster and the story floods into an obligatory tale of man's embittered drive to conquer the elements. A sure bet for maritime racing fans and extreme sporting enthusiasts, the book might not have enough ballast to float the open waters of mainstream readers.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Practiced sailor Zimmerman here expands on his treatment of the Race, a challenging nonstop global circuit that he has already covered for Sports Illustrated and Outside.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
The book is well written, fascinating and full of tension.
Dave
The well-researched accounts delving into the background and history of many well known round the world races and racers was especially entertaining and interesting.
Bill M.
This is a great book for anyone looking for an interesting and entertaining read.
A Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andrew T. Davis on September 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Race delivers on the promise of an intensely educational and suspenseful read. I learned much more than I expected to about multihull design, sailing history, and the characters involved in circumnavigation adventures, but I was also viscerally "there" during the more stressful parts of the Race itself. Zimmerman provides exceptional context as well as insight into what makes these men and their sailing machines run. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone curious about the quest for speed across the waves.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Although I am not a hard core sailor, I picked up this book because I love adventure. I was glad I did because I discovered a world of eccentric and entertaining characters who kept me engaged and amused as I clipped along with this well-written, fast-paced narrative. I loved the concise history of round the world racing and the crazy characters who got it started--like Blondie Hasler who believed sailors should "die like gentelmen" instead of calling for rescue and endangering the lives of the rescuers. The Race itself was run by the world's best sailors, but it was the hi-tech boats, the tactics and the challenge of the Southern Ocean that really hooked me. A great read for anyone who loves the oceans and extreme adventure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The Race acccurately describes the complex human dynamics, emotional tension, technological achievments, and capricious play of fortune that combined in the world's first non-stop around the world sailboat race. Beginning with a fascinating and sympathetic account of the early pioneers of round the world sailboat racing, Zimmermann then details the technological conundrums and challenges confronting the computer-aided designers of the Race's catamarans and explains the rationale for, and consequences of, the decisions they made. His account of the Race itself is a skillful blend of analysis and story telling that touches on all the factors that shaped the outcome of the contest, technology, tactical decision-making, human dynamics, and most of all, mother nature, in the form of wind and current. Throughout the book, the author provides just the right amount of technical detail and analysis without overwhelming the non sailor (or weatherman). More important, Zimmermann captures, in terms I believe accessible to the non sailing professional, a sense of the excitement, danger, and spiritual satisfaction that draws men to challenge the sea at her most fearsome. Very few of us can circumnavigate the world non stop in a catamaran, but The Race provides the closest substitute for that experience this side of Cape Horn and the roaring forties.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on June 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for anyone looking for an interesting and entertaining read. In "The Race", author Zimmermann combines the dynamic story of the 'round the world Race with the intriguing historical context of circumnavigational sailing. He tells the action-packed story of the people and boats involved in the Race, incorporating fascinating detail (did you know the sailors on these high-speed sailing yachts sleep with their feet toward the front of the boat to avoid breaking their necks in the event of rapid deceleration?!) with a fast-paced writing style. If you enjoy adventure books like "Into Thin Air" or "The Proving Ground", "The Race" is for you.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You don't have to be a racing sailor to love this book. Armchair racing sailors can get a tremendous lift from reading the challenges these sailors face. In the polar seas of the Southern Ocean and the financial boardrooms, the opposition is tremendous. Nothing like pouring vast sums of money into a hole in the ocean, then being bested by Mother Nature. Kept me up at night shivering, and loved every minute.
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