Thursday, June 26, 2014
Fastnet, Force 10 by John Rousmaniere
"When the gale swept over Ireland during Monday night, it seemed like any other summer storm that catches a few boats out in the Western Approaches to England."
On August 11, 1979, 303 yachts began the 600-mile Fastnet Race from Cowes on the Isle of Wight to Fastnet Rock off the Irish coast and back. It began in fine weather, then suddenly became a terrifying ordeal. A Force 10, sixty-knot storm swept across the North Atlantic with a speed that confounded forecasters, slamming into the fleet with epic fury. For twenty hours, 2,500 men and women were smashed by forty-foot breaking waves, while rescue helicopters and lifeboats struggled to save them.
By the time the race was over, fifteen people had died, twenty-four crews had abandoned ship, five yachts had sunk, 136 sailors had been rescued, and only 85 boats had finished the race. John Rousmaniere was there, and he tells the story as only on who has sailed through the teeth of a killer storm can. In a new introduction for this edition, he discusses the effects of the tragedy and whether it could happen again today." -- from the back cover
This is an exciting book about storms and the people who battle them. I especially liked learning about the life boats and helicopters and the men who rescued all they could.
Date read: 6/25/2014
Book #: 20
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Nonfiction, Adventure
Publisher: W.W. Norton
Year: 1980; 2000 (this edition)
# of pages: 266
Binding: Trade Paperback