Authors: Adam Cort and Richard Stearns

This book was my bible as I was first learning to race.  I can’t tell you how many times I read it through, from cover to cover. I had started off with some other, more advanced books, but much of the information in those books was too complicated for a racing novice. This was the perfect introduction to sailboat racing for a newbie, with great graphics, and an easy-to-read format.

The authors’ simple organization of the material is really great, as it helps those learning about racing to understand the bigger picture, the race as a whole, through exploring each phase of the race (start, upwind, downwind, etc.), and explaining exactly what should be going through the skipper’s mind during each leg. The examples and diagrams are clear, simple, and thorough. I have given this book to several new sailors in our fleet, and every one of them has loved it.

Although the book is chock-a-block full of useful tips for everything from boat speed to finding a fleet to sail with, perhaps my favorite part of the book is the Epilogue, in which the authors remind us why we sail, and how fortunate we are to be able to do so.

I highly recommend this book as a good introduction to racing, but keep in mind that the book offers valuable information which is pertinent to the more advanced racer as well, and can be a great review. A nice follow-up to this was Dave Perry’s book, Winning in One-Designs, which I’ll review in an upcoming post.

>Buy the book on Amazon

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Deborah Bennett Elfers
I was practically born on a boat, though on a working lobster boat rather than a sailboat. In my early days, I sailed quite a lot on a Sunfish, but not very elegantly, as in our little neighborhood “fleet,” the boat was primarily used as a weapon in a wildly popular game of “kill the other guy!” Who could have imagined way back then, that one day I’d become so passionate about all things sailing?
Deborah Bennett Elfers
Deborah Bennett Elfers

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