The Race, Relived
There are few things more personally demanding than racing a sailboat around the world — there’s the physical strain of working the boat, the lack of sleep and the mental challenge of being at sea, on your own moving island with no one but the yacht’s crew and the boat beneath your feet. Many people crave the adventure; few actually experience it. The new book Sailing Legends, by Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall, puts the reader in the cockpit and takes him along for the ride, chronicling the history of one of the world’s most challenging offshore races — the Whitbread Round the World Race, now known as the Volvo Ocean Race. The 176-page book brings the race’s 38-year history to life, and breathtaking photography makes this a volume that every yachtsman will cherish. Sailing Legends, $50, Endeavor London Ltd; firstname.lastname@example.org or at amazon.com.
A Star to Sail By
Coming-of-age memoirs have always been a popular genre, but here’s one where it all happens at sea! Alex Ellison, who’s now a student at Phillips Exeter Academy, has published A Star to Sail Her By, his account of five years on the 47-foot sloop Promise with his parents and sister. From the age of 8 to 13, Ellison kept a detailed journal that formed the basis of his book describing their adventures around the world. Get your copy at www.astartosailherby.com or at amazon.com.
Waiting to grace your salon coffee table is The Book of Wooden Boats: Volume III ($60, W.W. Norton & Co. and on www.amazon.com), the latest collaboration from marine photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz and boatbuilder, author and marine preservationist Maynard Bray. Mendlowitz’s photography is stunning, capturing the essence of what it is that makes a yacht classic — whether a gorgeous Concordia yawl under sail, a beautiful commuter gliding through still waters or a no-nonsense workboat. Bray’s insightful text breathes life into the vessels and, combined with the photography, makes these boats seem as alive as those who sail them.
There are few things in this world as beautiful as large sailing yachts charging under full sail with a stiff breeze gliding them smoothly through the waves — to watch one is outstanding, a few at once are gorgeous, but a fleet of them? Well, that’s just amazing. Now, you can bring the majesty of one of the great regattas to your salon coffee table with Perini Navi Cup. At 183 pages, the book chronicles the history of the last three Perini Navi Cup regattas, raced off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, in 2004, 2006 and 2009. It’s being released in celebration of the fourth running of the Cup, set to take place this September 1 to 4. Perini Navi Cup features breathtaking photography of the event, the people, the coast and, most important, these truly gorgeous yachts. Perini Navi Cup (approximately $70 at press time) can be purchased at www.ideabooks.com/perininavicup.
A Classic on Classics
A new book will soon be taking a place of prominence on every passionate sailor’s bookshelf: Mariette & the Herreshoff Schooners, from yachting historians Luigi Lang and Jacques Taglang. Featuring an in-depth look at Mariette and her history, the book also includes John Lammerts van Bueren’s story of the Herreshoff schooner Westward and her two recently launched replicas, Eleonora and Elena, an examination of the art and technique of racing schooners in Herreshoff’s era by Louie Howland, and much more. Best of all, this book contains the first-ever publication of lines drawings, construction and sail plans of 35 Herreshoff schooners. The book retails for $295 ($495 for a leather-bound edition) and is available for purchase at www.columbiatrading.com. and on www.amazon.com