Home' Afloat : AFLOAT December 2016 Contents 68 AFLOAT.com.au December 2016
Books reviewed by Peter Campbell
BOOKS OF THE
Boat Books Tel: 1300 262 826
100 Magic Miles – 11th Edition
This is the 11th edition of this Whitsundays ‘bible’ by
David Colfelt, revised in 2016, and undoubtedley the best
cruising guide produced covering the Whitsunday Islands
and nearby mainland coast. Each anchorage is extensively
covered with recommendations on where to anchor, places to
see and local features. This new edition contains updates on
marinas, national parks, charter companies, wildlife services
and other areas associated with tourism in the region. PB
256 pages $94.95
The World of Syd Fischer
He is one of the world’s most successful sailors, having won
Sydney to Hobart races in his Ragamuffin yachts and competed
eight times for Australia in the Admiral’s Cup. He jointly holds
the record for the most number of America’s Cup campaigns – all
self-funded and managed personally. He is Syd Fischer – ‘El
Syd’ to some, ‘Syd Vicious’ to others – the Ragamuffin man.
He’s known as perhaps the toughest and most uncompromising
Australian businessman and sportsman of the past half century.
He lives in a boatshed on Mosman Bay and at 88 still competes
in the punishing sport of long-distance offshore yacht racing.
This is the story of Fischer’s remarkable worlds, and of his unrelenting quest to win the
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race one more time. HB 320 pages $49.95
Ragamuffin Man –
The World of Syd Fischer
by David Salter
published by Nero Books
RRP: $49.95 (334pp; 160mm x 240mm)
David Salter must be congratulated for being the first writer to
achieve what other yachting journalists have considered virtually
impossible – write a ‘warts and all’ book about that doyen of Australian
ocean yacht racing, Syd Fischer.
As Sir James Hardy OBE writes in his introduction to Ragamuf fin
Man, The World of Syd Fischer: “ To be frank, I ’m amazed this book was
ever started, let alone finished. I known Syd Fischer for the best part
of 50 years and he’s about the most taciturn person in the world.”
I’ve known Syd for decades too, interviewed him at major
international events, the Admiral’s Cup, America’s Cup, Sydney Hobart
Yacht Race, the Kenwood Cup – even sailed with him.
Syd invited me to race on Ragamuffin at the Clipper Cup in Hawaii,
mainly as extra ballast on the weather rail in the short races off
Honolulu, but certainly quite an experience. I subsequently wrote a
newspaper article headed ‘Sailing with Syd’ and he didn’t threaten
to sue me.
David Salter is an accomplished writer, journalist and broadcaster
noted for extracting the facts. T wo years of research and hard-fought
interviews have gone into this fascinating book.
It’s neither an authorised or unauthorised biography, as David
says, but is a fascinating insight into the life and times of Syd
Fischer, not only as a great sailor but one
of Sydney’s most toughest and astute
businessmen and property developer.
Appropriately, Ragamuffin Man has
been published just weeks before the
Boxing Day start of the 72nd Rolex Sydney
Hobart Yacht Race, one of the great ocean
races in the world, in which Syd Fischer
competed 42 times before announcing his
retirement earlier this year, completing
arguably one of the greatest ocean racing careers in the world.
The big question for Boxing Day 2016 is how Syd Fischer will
explain his own famous Sydney Hobart quote ....
“ What else do you do at Christmas? ” Perhaps he may relax and
read Ragamuffin Man.
by Roberta Muir
published by Penguin Press
RRP: $49.99 (234 pp; 250mm x 290mm)
I am always delighted to review a cookery book and being a
seafood lover, receiving a specialty book on every imaginable seafood
available in Australia is a real bonus. Before writing the review I also
endeavoured to cook one of the dishes highlighted in the book.
The Sydney Seafood School Cookbook is a magnificent production,
taking the seafood lover through every step of buying, preparing,
storage and cooking (but not catching). For example, how to tell
a Balmain bug from a Moreton Bay bug (the position of its eyes).
Now five years old and about to do its eighth printing, it contains
more than 80 recipes from 49 leading Australian chefs, from now-
retired icons such as Phillip Searle and Janni Kyritsis, through to
still-going industry leaders, including Neil Perry and David Thompson,
to rising stars such as Dan Hong.
Seafood has become arguably the most popular Christmas fare
for Australians, so this classic book would make a wonderful present.
With Christmas in mind, I looked for prawn dishes.
You might regard prawn cocktail as ‘old hat’ but chef Warren
Turnbull has produced a clever combination of two classic seafood
dishes – prawn cocktail and Chinese prawn toast.
Without going into details, Chinese prawn toast consists of a
mixture of green prawns, chives, zest of lemon, parsley and seasoning
put though a blender and spread evenly over one side of bread slices,
deep fried for a few minutes.
The Chinese prawn toast is served with a traditional Aussie
prawn cocktail (a dozen cooked prawns, a large avocado, chives
and an iceberg lettuce). Then there’s the cocktail sauce: whole egg
mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, drops of Tabasco sauce, and a stem
of French tarragon, finely chopped. Great entrée.
Blue eye trevalla is the number one fish on the menu of most
restaurants in Hobart, but is served rather traditionally, pan fried.
Blue eye trevalla ‘aqua pazza’ is mouth-watering alternative, a dish
that originates in Naples.
The Sydney Seafood School Cookbook contains simple recipes such
as prawn bisque, garlic prawns and spaghetti vongole through to
more complex dishes such grilled barramundi curry or seared baby
squid with radishes, nasturtiums and aioli. h
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