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Taking on the World : A Sailor's Extraordinary Solo Race Around the Globe Paperback – April 12, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
No one can argue with MacArthur's prowess on the high seas. The 24-year-old made international headlines in 2001 for placing second in the Vendee-Globe, a nonstop, 26,000-mile race that she completed alone in 94 days. Unfortunately, this exhaustive memoir of MacArthur's coming-of-age as a sailor in landlocked Derbyshire, England, doesn't make for a triumphant maiden voyage into the literary world. The book begins with her birth ("I was not in the mood to come out, so Mum had to be induced three weeks after my expected arrival date") and spares no detail of her life thus far, including that Paddy, her pet duck, "considered me his closest family." The real action of this book-the race itself-doesn't begin until Chapter 16, and even then the adventure is recounted slowly. When MacArthur writes about bidding farewell to one of her greatest supporters as she is about to set sail for the odyssey of a lifetime, she says, "He pushed a hard-boiled egg and an apple into my hand; I hadn't wanted any breakfast that morning, and he knew I wouldn't have eaten anything since then." In the end, MacArthur's unfocused style transforms what must have been an exciting experience into a remarkably boring read.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
The Young Woman Who Took the Sailing World by Storm
At twenty-four, Ellen MacArthur became the youngest person ever to complete the Vendée Globe singlehanded nonstop sailboat race around the planet and the second woman--and second fastest sailor--to circumnavigate the globe alone. Taking On the World is Ellen's story--of her longing for adventure, her indomitable will, and her overwhelming passion for the sea.
"An exuberant, headlong, exhausting ride. . . . This is more than a book about sailboat racing; it's also about a dream ferociously pursued and the price paid for realizing it."--Derek Lundy, author, Godforsaken Sea and The Way of a Ship
"As different from other sailing books as Ellen MacArthur is from other sailors. . . . One is left full of admiration, and wondering mightily what this journeying heroine will achieve next."--Peter Nichols, author, A Voyage for Madmen
"A unique book full of wit and grit, an engrossing story of the call of the sea and survival against profound odds."--Ocean Navigator
"MacArthur's triumph in sailing 26,000 miles around the world in less than 100 days sets standards in daring, defiance, and yachtsmanship that may not be matched for years to come."--The (London) Times
"You don't need to be a sailor to find it inspiring. It's about endeavour, a riff on Kipling's 'If' that has you wondering why you don't just go out and fulfill your dreams."--The Independent
Ellen MacArthur saved her school lunch money for eight years to buy her first boat, an 8-foot sailing dinghy. At eighteen she sailed around Britain alone, then began a string of impressive finishes in solo long-distance races that culminated in her record-setting performance in the 2000 - 2001 Vendée Globe. In 2002 she won the Route du Rhum singlehanded transatlantic race in the 60-foot Kingfisher. In January 2004, she launched the 75-foot trimaran B&Q, which was specifically built to set solo speed-sailing records, including the 24-hour record and the transatlantic record.
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The book ends with the Vendee-Globe, a nonstop, 26,000-mile race that she completed alone in 94 days in 2001. She was only 24-year-old and came in second place. This was her first attempt. Quite an astonishing feat!
This book was a very inspirational reading; a witness to what can be achieved when one follows his or her dreams. I now want to buy a sailing boat and go sailing around the world! And fly around the world too!