CLOSE TO THE WIND by Pete Goss

CLOSE TO THE WIND

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A prepossessing account of all it takes to enter the hellacious solo race around the Southern Ocean called the VendÇe Globe and how to become a hero. Goss is a can-do guy. He wants to sail around the world, through the roughest seas. Without bluster, he gets on with it. He drums up money and a training boat. He delays his gratification without grumbling when his responsibilities on the home front so necessitate (mouths to feed, a family to love—that comes first), but he keeps his eyes on the prize. Here, in prose as trim as his vessel, he details what it took to finally get a crack at the VendÇe Globe—all the funding proposals, the design testing on shake-out runs——The trick was not to take life too seriously, always see the funny side and never let something brew up until it got out of proportion.” Then, during the race, a hurricane overtakes him; readers, sensing Goss’s reluctance to exaggerate, will appreciate how bad it is when he observes: “No time to tidy the reefing lines. I flaked out the staysail halyard and freed the clutch; couldn’t afford niceties.” The storm is threatening to eat him alive when he gets an SOS: 160 miles away, to windward no less, a fellow sailor is in peril. “The decision had been made for me a long time ago by a tradition of the sea. When someone is in trouble you help.” He miraculously saves his fellow sailor, performs unanesthetized surgery on his own elbow while his boat rolls about in heavy seas, and goes on to finish the race. Goss then turned his up-to-it spirit to writing this book, doing his best to tell the story well, professionally, and honestly and with verve. He pulls that off, too, just like finishing the VendÇe Globe, just like saving a life. Incredible. (16 pages color photos, not seen)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-7867-0607-4
Page count: 282pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1999




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

IndieJUST WHERE THEY WANTED TO BE by Ellen Sollinger  Walker
by Ellen Sollinger Walker