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Book review: Fighting finish, volvo ocean race 01/02 Gary Jobson

April 29, 2012

I really enjoyed looking back at this race. This was the first ocean sailing race that I followed closely and I have fond memories of the race visiting my new home city of Auckland. I saw the boats in the viaduct basin and watched them leave from the top of Rangitoto Island. I also followed the race online. As communications improve over time, it becomes so much easier to enjoy this sort of event.

The book itself is a glossy coffee table book with enough text and stats to capture the interest of keen sailor, to go with the photos. The chapters follow a simple yet effective format – the boats, the 01/02 race, then the race history. Each section was interesting, if quite brief. The book is only 176 pages, so it is pretty condensed. The text is well written and tells the story of the race well.

So the book was a bit like going back down memory lane. Some of it I remembered, there was a lot I didn’t – or not accurately at least. There were more breakages than I thought, which is a feature of the current race. Whilst the boats were fast for the time, they were a lot slower than the most recent fleet. Some of the finishes were close, but many were not. There were also fairly convoluted parts to the race course, particularly the finish with 2 extra legs in Europe long after a circumnavigation had been completed. Again, these are similarities with the latest race.

Overall, the book is a great reminder of the race that I look back at with good memories.

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