Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Book Review: Chasing the Cup

Book Cover01

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

Related

01-LEAD-IMG_0207

Refurbishing Shirley Rose: Part 4

To read part 1, click here. When I began repairs on my Santana 27, Shirley Rose, I focused on the major systems rather than cosmetics. My goal was to create a safe boat for the often rough conditions on San Francisco Bay, and I didn’t much care about winning any beauty contests. ...read more

SailingAwards

VIDEO: World Sailing Awards 2021

Alec Wilkinson and Hannah White host the World Sailing Awards and announce the Rolex World Sailor of the Year and 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award.  December 2021 ...read more

02-RV-WHY

Cruising: Miracle On Ice

I was preparing some tea just before heading topside for my watch. Even though it was summertime, the tea was not iced—it was hot. That’s because our boat was in the High Arctic. We were trying to complete a westbound transit of the treacherous Northwest Passage. If we ...read more

Hanse_460_Bilder_Web_Exterior_0003-promo

New Monohulls: Hallberg-Rassy 400 & Hanse 460

For all the consolidation in the boatbuilding world in recent years, there remains plenty of variety out there, as can be seen in these two new monohulls. The products of two very different boatbuilders offer two very different takes on performance-cruising, even as they also ...read more

Waterlines

The Power of Sails

I suppose it isn’t merely a coincidence that I’ve made significant changes to the sailplans of the last three cruising boats I’ve owned. The first project was the biggest. My old Golden Hind 31, Sophie, had lots of charm and character, but her sloop rig was laughably small. ...read more

01-LEAD-BahiaCobre

Charter the Sea of Cortez

Chartering and the notion of going “off the beaten path” may sound self-contradictory. Charter companies tend to put bases where demand is high and they can turn a profit, so if you’re lucky enough to find an outfit and a destination that gets away from the typical—say yes. To ...read more

22D6FB6F-AA49-4784-A3A8-960F5A7CE330

Cruising: Anchoring Skills

Watching charterers make a run for the last mooring in a cove is fun—and weird. I always wonder why so many would rather try to catch a mooring than drop the hook. Maybe charterers don’t trust their anchoring skills, but it’s harder to drive up and grab a buoy than most people ...read more

BD-TJV21_Malama_063

11th Hour Breakdown in the TJV

11th Hour Racing’s Mālama kicked off the second week of the Transat Jaques Vabre with keel problems, forcing co-skippers Charlie Enright and Pascal Bidégorry to adjust for a more conservative approach to the race’s remaining 2000 miles. “We’ve been dealing with a lot of ...read more