[[ Read books ]] The Proving Ground : The Inside Story of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart RaceAuthor G. Bruce Knecht – Bilb-weil.de

It's a gripping description of the disastrous December 1998 Hobart sailing race which ended with six sailors dead, five boats sunk, seven abandoned in a deadly cyclone Fifty five sailors needed rescue by helicopters or other ships There are heroes and incompetents, egodriven and team players, exceptionally skilled and inexperienced It is all vividly described the boats, state of the art incredibly expensive and advanced racing machines and one historic artifact, the antique wooden Winston Churchill the men, a gathering of some of the best ocean racing sailors in the world and the weather, what looked at first like a storm that turned into a tropical cyclone of deadly ferocity. Having been a professional seaman most of my life I was riveted to my Kindle by Knecht's vivid account of this racing tragedy where five sailors died and five boats sank I've participated in offshore sailboat races (I was a helmsman on a 65footer in the Inaugural Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race in '75) and have spenttime than I care to remember in galeforce conditions while running crew boats in the offshore oil fields of Louisiana and a could feel and hear those winds again in Knecht's paragraphs His accounts of the men's survival in life rafts is scary I'd rather read about these things, though, than to ever have to go through them. A riveting case study of the mixture of personalities and multiple decision chains that led to the disastrous conclusion of the 1998 SydneyHobart race From a search and rescue (SAR) professional's perspective, the insight into the minds of longdistance sailors (and those who would like to think they are, but are merely wealthy) is useful intelligence for future races to predict the likely actions of a missing boat and crew In that same vein, the experiences of the men in their disintegrating life rafts vividly illustrated the effects of hypothermia and exhaustion The problems with life safety equipment are a lesson that seems to never to be learned; since they are inevitable, the lesson here is to learn to anticipate them.My only disappointment with the book is the short shrift given to the actions of the Australian Coast Guard in the largest SAR case in its history SAR planning and operations require some calculation and resource management; the very best SAR coordinators are those that seem to have a telepathic link to the mind of a ship's or dinghy's captain Even just one chapter thatfully explained the thought processes of those involved in directing the response would have help to round out the story.On a final note: Lifejackets save lives, but only if you're wearing them. * I'm a transoceanic sailor myself I've seen bad weather BUT, reading this book left my heart in my throat way beyond any 'thriller' I've ever read; and this is real life!* On December 26, 1998, 115 sailboats set out on the annual race from Sydney to Hobart; only 43 would make it to the Tasmanian city, the race having turned into the worst modern sailing disaster since the 1979 Fastnet Race Fastnet, Force 10: The Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing* If you have a passion for sailing, you NEED to read this book A good read and hard to put down Gives you enough info on the things you need to know without bogging you down The account of the Sydney to Hobart boat race that resulted in disaster for many boats one particular year Follows three of the boats during the race I'd always heard about this race, but never knew really what was involved until I read this book. A very interesting true account about an event that I previously knew nothing about, and about a sport that I previously knew little about! Knecht outlines the sailing men who faced stormy seas in various sized yachts to in this classic Australian race, and about what motivates these men to be competitive, to win, to work together, and to survive It put me in the mind of a Jon Krakauer book, which I love. Picked this up as a 99cent Kindle book It's a quick read It is reminiscent of Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, in that it explores the world of obsessed people doing dangerous things But it is told from a journalist's perspective, and is not a firstperson account.I liked the book Learned a few things about openocean sailing along the way. More than just a great account of one of the most famous disasters in offshore yacht racing It also does a great job at portraying the massive egos to be found in the racing scene, from billionaire tech tycoons to amateur knowitalls and the disastrous consequences when these overinflated personalities collide during lifethreatening conditions on the sea It also offers a look into the multimillion dollar budgets of the highest end racing yachts and the technology that goes into them.Along with the Fastnet race of 1979, the 1998 SydneyHobart is a touchstone of sailing lore, guaranteed to be mentioned in at least one sailor bar somewhere in the world on any given day. OK I love the sea From the shore From an airplane But NOT on it it's worse than aviation; it will kill you SLOWLY, and the things in it with teeth will eat you At least in aviation if you screw up you tend to die pretty quickly This book goes into all that with great detail; the way we men have to prove ourselves, how we feel we can go head on with nature, etc you get the idea This book puts you in the cockpit of several boats, and into the minds of the men on those same little floatythings with sails, during the the 1998 Syndey to Hobart Race A lot of Men did not survive that race because they made some poor choices on when to be at sea (during the storm that did them in in this case) That said, it is an excellent read It also goes into the rescues in detail; Helicopters are great things, but they are not intended to fly in inclement weather We are fortunate that our tax dollars are used to pay (at low rates, I might add) individuals who go out of their way (and endanger themselves) to rescue those who have little sense and end up in a bind Happens every day; we all make mistakes but this was a group who were driven by a desire to win a race; They weren't in mortal danger from an encroaching enemy, they weren't out to help anyone; it was pure racing at it's highest (and most expensive) form, for ego And the storm could have taken manythan it did All in all, a goodread On December sailboats set out on the annual race from Sydney to Hobart; onlywould make it to the Tasmanian city, the race having turned into the worst modern sailing disaster since theFastnet Race Combining the best elements of The Perfect Storm WW Norton,and Barbarians at the Gate HarperCollins The Proving Ground is a gripping narrative that follows the fates of three yachts, including Sayonara, owned by Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle From the chilling explanation of how an Olympic sailor came to be catapulted from a yacht and why its crew could do nothing to save him, to the dramatic journeys of two leaky liferafts, The Proving Ground is an exhilarating read