Left for Dead
by Nick Ward with Sinead O'Brien
Reviewed in SAILING September 2008:
It has been chosen "Sports Book of the Year' by a number of highly regarded publications. I would rate it one of the most rivetting, most intriguing sports books I have read this year or any other year.
This is the untold story of the tragic 1979 Fast Race - a world famous event that began in perfect weather, only to be devasted by an incredibly fearsome storm that took the lives of 15 yachtsmen. It is the story of Nick Ward, his survival against all the odds, and his decision after 26 years, to break silence and publish every detail of life, and death, aboard the yacht "Grimalkin".
There were six men aboard "Grimalkin" on that August day in 1979, when the fleet set sail for Fastnet. The weather was perfect, spirits were high. Within hours it all changed. The monster storm came out of nowhere, to turn the smooth seas into a heaving hell fanned by a Force 12 plus. "Grimalkin" was swept along until she was out of control, and the emotions of those aboard followed the same route.
Knockdowns and capsizes occurred regularly, and crippling injuries occur; for for Ward, the nightmare is only beginning. It becomes mind-chilling, when he realises he and one other crew mate have been left for dead on the water-logged boat, by others who have opted to take to the life raft. To tell more would be to ruin the story for the reader.
Suffice to say that Ward's account, written with the help of co-writer Sinead O'Brien, is inspirational, emotional and compelling.
Apart form the vivid descriptions of the ordeal itself, it captures perfectly the ongoing inner feelings he has struggled with, and suppressed, for all those years about the rights and wrongs in the sequence of tragic events that overtook him and "Grimalkin".
There is a bitterness there, understandably; and, in the end, forgiveness. But finally, it is you, the reader, who will find yourself making the judgement calls.
Price: - available on request -
Book ID (for ordering): 2458