Trial by Tasman
Tales from the singlehanded trans-Tasman yacht races by the author of Blue Water. The singlehanded trans-Tasman yacht race is a unique and special event. The first race was in 1970 and it is still the only singlehanded ocean race in the Southern Hemisphere and the second oldest singlehanded ocean race in the world. The next race is in April 2014. Sailing from New Plymouth to Mooloolaba near Brisbane it has spawned a rich harvest of great stories from the athletes, eccentrics, daredevils, sportspeople and visionaries who have competed, including the first woman to compete in a singlehanded ocean race and, somewhat confusingly, a one-legged, singlehanded sailor. The races have been both exhilarating and terrifying. There have been a number of dramatic rescues, a stranding on Middleton Reef and several boats have been lost. Every race is covered and most chapters include race participants' own accounts of their race. Readers are given an insight into what makes people want to sail alone across one of the roughest pieces of water in the world and how individual skippers tackle loneliness and the practical aspects of sailing, cooking, keeping dry and sleeping.
Lindsay Wright has been Secretary of the Race Organising Committee since 2006. He is also a former race entrant but had to abandon the race after suffering serious damage to his small yacht from hitting a whale. He has raced yachts out of Wellington, sailed round Cape Horn and worked as a professional racing skipper in the Caribbean. He has worked on oilrig supply vessels, as skipper of research ships, on seismic survey vessels, Greenpeace vessels and as a yacht and fishing boat delivery skipper. He is the author of Blue Water (HarperCollins 2010), Red Sails, No Sunset (Cape Catley 1989) and numerous articles for Boating NZ, Trade a Boat, NZ Listener, North & South and overseas magazines. He and his partner Kay live aboard their yacht Southern Cross.