Book Review: Chasing the Cup

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BMW Oracle Racing’s 2010 ascent to America’s Cup glory with Jimmy Spithill at the helm may be one of the best-known tales in the annals of modern sailing, but you haven’t heard it like this before. Spithill’s autobiography, Chasing the Cup, is a must-read for anyone following their own dream. It begins poignantly with an angry 12-year-old boy in a surgeon’s office being told he will never be any good at sports—a refreshingly humble and human moment in a life later defined by high-tech speed machines. Spithill maintains he is not especially gifted (and, indeed, he seemed to have the deck stacked against him from the beginning as the handicapped child of working-class parents). However, he takes readers along for the ride, through a few instances of spectacularly good luck followed by significantly more instances of hard work and long hours, to earn a place in America’s Cup history. Full of heart and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Spithill’s journey is not one readers will soon forget. His book is an entertaining, fast-paced read that is especially relevant to any young sailor with a dream.

By Jimmy Spithill with Rob Mundle

Bloomsbury, $25

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