Mark Chisnell’s non-fiction has been as applauded as his fiction, and these five essays all pack a typically stylish punch. The first, ‘Fastnet ‘79’ was written for the thirtieth anniversary of that desperate race, and assesses one way in which the sailing community tried to deal with the shock of the tragedy.
There are two accounts of epic attempts to round Cape Horn in sailboats. Just over thirty years separates the Smeeton’s voyage in 1959 from Bruno Peyron and Cam Lewis’ 1993 Jules Verne attempt. And while they were poles apart in technology and attitude, the Southern Ocean quickly reduced them both to a raw battle for survival.
Cape Horn also features in the story of how Michel Desjoyeaux nearly lost the 2000-01 Vendee Globe to Ellen MacArthur. And the collection is completed by an analysis of the latest extraordinary research on rogue waves – and how the oceanographers finally came to accept the sea-faring community’s view that there were a lot more of them out there than the scientists thought.
Reviews for Mark Chisnell’s Non-fiction:
‘There are many accounts of man against the sea, and man against man at sea, but seldom has there been such a panoramic portrayal of life at its cramped, frenetic and frightening worst as this examination of the latest winning Whitbread Round the World Race campaign’
Stuart Alexander, Independent, ‘Sports Book of the Week’
‘What it does brilliantly is get under the skin of what it is like to live and breathe a Whitbread Race.’
Tim Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph
‘It’s the best book yet on this race. Great writing...’
Yachts and Yachting
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