Sailing On The Edge
Thedailysail's own editor, James Boyd has contributed to this weighty tome appropriately on some technical geeky matters such as wing and foil design as well as the history of multihulls. Co-authors of the book include leading yacht racing journalists, authors and historians such as eminent America's Cup historian Bob Fisher (author of the two-volume history of the America’s Cup, An Absorbing Interest), local San Francisco sailing correspondent Kimball Livingston, professional sailor and author Mark Chisnell, leading New Zealand yachting scribe Ivor Wilkins, and veteran America's Cup writer and historian Roger Vaughan.
Okay, so we're not entirely free from bias when it comes to this book. However we were extremely surprised by how exceptional the design of the book is. A 232-page long hardback, measuring 235 x 323mm, Sailing on the Edge includes some of the best images from Cups, both past and present, but it is the fabulous inserts which really makes the historic first half of this book. Its cover the familiar background to the America's Cup, but much of this comes from 'the man' when it comes to this topic, ie Bob Fisher, but the inserts really bring this to life. Flicking through and there are brown gatefolds showing the sailplans of America and Reliance, and the patent drawings of Nat Herreshoff's 1877 catamaran design. Another is a landscape A5 reproduction of a 1899 photo album showing life on board Columbia.
However this book is also special as it is the first published that looks in depth at the 34th America's Cup and the radical changes introduced for the San Francisco event, masterminded by Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts. This includes our chapters on the AC45s and the technology, in particular the wings and foils, plus the role of the design team. Ivor Wilkins describes the challenges of racing AC45s and AC72s on the edge - it should be noted it was written prior to the death of Andrew Simpson. Kimball and ourselves look at how race tactics have changed in the transition from heavy weight leadmine monohulls to lightweight nimble multihulls and how exactly one trims a wing compared to a softsail, plus an explanation of how the new America's Cup courses with their reaching starts evolved.
There are also in-depth chapters about the ground breaking technology going into television offering for this America's Cup and the Red Bull Youth America's Cup.
So although it has Bob Fisher down as author, Sailing on the Edge can be bought in the UK from Amazon here for the price of £36.96