Six men have died in the history of the race

Six men have died in the 40 years of racing around the world. Now a new book on the Volvo Ocean Race, previously known as the Whitbread Round the World Race has been published.

It spans 40 years, ten races and more than 300,000 miles across the most inhospitable seas. From gentlemanly competition in yachts designed more for graceful living than screaming around Cape Horn, the race has progressed to purpose built craft with few creature comforts, crewed by fanatical, professionals.

Sailing journalists, Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall have been there for every race from the first in 1973 and collate the anecdotes, highlight all the major stories, and provide biographies of sailing’s greatest names from the first handicap and line honour winners, Ramon Carlin and Sir Chay Blyth, to double winner Conny van Rietschoten, French legend Eric Tabarly, those great New Zealand rivals Sir Peter Blake and Grant Dalton, through to the latter day Volvo race winners.

They also detail the advances in design and construction that make today’s yachts formidably tough, surfing greyhounds capable of hitting 40knots + and sustaining 600 mile daily runs. The book also lists every crewmember to have taken part.

Sailing Legends – The Story Of The World’s Greatest Ocean Race
By Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall – Endeavour Books – £40 + p&p