Fatal Storm: The inside Story of the Tragic Sydney-Hobart Race

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9780071361408: Fatal Storm: The inside Story of the Tragic Sydney-Hobart Race

"Harrowing shoreside reading."--"Booklist"

"Should be required reading for all ocean sailors."--"Library Journal"

The first book to recount the disastrous events of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race, "Fatal Storm" is sure to be a popular paperback selection. Rob Mundle takes readers through every white-knuckling hour of the gale that descended in the predawn hours of December 27, stretching over 900 miles from Australia to New Zealand, bringing with it hurricane strength winds and five-story waves. In all, 57 sailors were rescued, plucked from the decks of broken boats or from the sea itself under impossible conditions. Six sailors died.

A Sydney-Hobart Race veteran himself, Rob Mundle had total and unequaled access to the people behind the story. The result is a tale of extreme adventure, extraordinary will, and the overwhelming emotional tales of survivors, rescuers, and the bereaved.

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Review:

"As far as I was concerned, death was just there in the water alongside us. You could sense it was there. I was thinking if I get out of this I'm going to be a lucky bloke. The whole boat was completely engulfed in white water, completely submerged. We went into the night thinking the next wave could be the one that took us out."

Journalist and yachtsman Rob Mundle had covered the Sydney to Hobart yacht race 30 times, three times as a competitor, but the 46th renewal was to be the most extraordinary, and ultimately tragic story he has ever had to report.

Millions around the world had witnessed the sunshine carnival of the race start on Boxing Day morning in 1998. Within 24 hours the fleet would be devastated by a "weather bomb"--a freak cyclone with gusting winds of90 knots and waves to 80 feet--and one of the most dramatic sea rescues of modern times began. Six lives were lost and a further 55 competitors were winched from their stricken vessels as they lay at the mercy of the towering sea.

In interviews with the survivors and their rescuers and through a rich selection of awe-inspiring photographs, Mundle takes us to the heart of the storm, recounting stories of their desperate courage and extraordinary endeavour as the tragedy unfolded.

Fatal Storm is a powerful and moving celebration of the spirit of adventure that carried these men and women to the ocean and a fitting tribute to those who did not return. --Alex Hankin

From the Back Cover:

Harrowing shoreside reading!" Booklist

One of the world's three great ocean sailing competitions, the annual 630-mile race from Sydney, Australia, to Hobart, Tasmania, pits sailboats against the notoriously rough waters of Bass Strait and the Tasman Sea.

The 115 boats leaving Sydney Harbor on December 26, 1998 expected rough weather, ­­but the gale that caught the boats well at sea in the predawn hours of December 27 was anything but routine. The freak, unseasonal storm brought hurricane-strength winds, waves six stories high, and the worst sailing disaster in recent history. Seven boats were abandoned at sea and five sank. Fifty-seven sailors were rescued, plucked from the decks of broken boats or from the sea itself under impossible conditions. Six sailors died.

"The famous killer Sydney - Hobart Race has found its chronicler in Rob Mundle. An Australian journalist who was on the scene . . . Mundle's portrayals of courageous sailors and heroic rescuers fighting for their lives are as vivid as any I have read."
­­John Rousmaniere, author, Fastnet: Force 10

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Mundle, Rob
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