THE GRAND GESTURE: Ted Turner, Mariner and the America's Cup by Roger Vaughan

THE GRAND GESTURE: Ted Turner, Mariner and the America's Cup

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The Grand Gesture is the story of a to-hell-with-the-costs effort by a syndicate of millionaire yachting enthusiasts to build the perfect 12-meter boat for winning the America's Cup. This also required the greatest crew available. But something went wrong. Tank tests of a model for the great racer Mariner did not prove out on the yacht after its hull was launched and the boat fitted out. The newly designed $1.1 million craft was. . .slow! The builder rationalizes that Mariner was not lazy in itself but only in relation to its faster competitors. Others say it was the overblown ego of Ted Turner (""Yachtsman of the Year"") as helmsman whose outrageously colorful boasting and verbal bullwhipping failed to hold his crew together. Some say that the wrong crew was used. Mariner was also the first aluminum 12-meter and the first Cup boat ever to be rebuilt during trials--flaws kept showing up. The reader watches the forming of the ship's financial syndicate (old salts with calf-leather skins), the designing and construction, first workouts, trial races, and the rise of the crew's temper. Yacht racing is a long, dull business for landsmen, like watching grass grow, and without any excitement--or great madness in failure--the book is seldom more fiery than Ted Turner's epithets: ""No guts, no glory. . .You have to go where the hot stuff is and get whipped.

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 1975
Publisher: Little, Brown