This excellent book is really two stories.
The first is a fascinating look at the 1998 Sidney-Hobart sailboat race. Due to a storm that built bigger than expected, of the 115 boats participating only 44 reached the finish line. A boat was sunk and others abandoned. Twenty-five sailors were washed over board and seven died. Fifty-five sailors were rescued. It was the largest sea rescue in Australian history. The story is told well, and lets us experience the storm from the perspectives of many sailboat crews, rescue personnel and family at home, not just the winning boat.
The second is a leadership guide that takes lessons from the experiences of the sailing teams, with an emphasis on the winning boat. Lessons like the importance of team unity, skill, competence, preparation and relentless learning.
The author even sailed a later Sidney-Hobart race to experience first hand what a long open ocean race was like. I’m sure that helped him tell the story so well.
The entire book is well done and held my attention from start to finish. I’ve taken up the bad habit of starting a book on my tablet on Friday evening, and staying up all night reading it till I finish. This was no exception, and I got to see the sun come up as I was finishing.
I’m reading a lot of books since I discovered our local library lets me check out e-books on my tablet. If you haven’t tried it, do it! If you like to read at all (which I very much do) you will find out that a tablet combined with your local library can bring an amazing amount of free knowledge and enjoyment to you for absolutely no cost. (Of course the tablet costs, but you can get a good one of those for about $100 and you’ll make that back by borrowing 5 or so books instead of buying them)