Fastnet, Force 10

John Rousmaniere

Most of us may never take part in a deep-sea yacht race, but all of us sailors and would be sailors can learn from this book about the perils of the sea and the potential hazards of the sport we love. The Fastnet race runs from Cowes on the south coast of England around Fastnet Rock off the south coast of Ireland and back to Plymouth.

In August of 1979 the race began in fair weather but was overtaken by a fierce, Force 10 gale when many of the boats were in the Irish Sea and far from land. Even big yachts were rolled right over by mountainous seas, lives were lost, and many sailors were rescued by lifeboat and helicopter. The author describes how the storm developed and considers why some boats got into trouble while others were able to avoid it.

This gripping tale is suitable for older children and adults.

Reviewed by James Wessel Walker, May, 2001

This article is ©2001 by James Wessel Walker, and posted on All Things Ransome with permission.

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