Home' Afloat : AFLOAT September 2017 Contents 56 AFLOAT.com.au September 2017
Books reviewed by Peter Campbell
BOOKS OF THE
Boat Books Tel: 1300 262 826
A Year Around a Charmed and Troubled Sea
Huw Kingston’s inspiring and entertaining tale of his
12 month, 14,000km journey around the Mediterranean
Sea by sea kayak, foot, ocean rowboat and bike. His
journey was one of physicality and endurance through
the cultures, land and seascapes of 17 countries in
North Africa and Europe. But above all it was a
story of humanity and the power of human kindness
in a region torn by economic malaise and increasing
conflict. PB 224 pages $39.95
2018 Calendar of Wooden Boats
The 2018 Calendar of Wooden Boats® continues
to set the highest standards of quality and tradition
for wooden boat enthusiasts around the world.
The 2018 edition features 12 new images by
Benjamin Mendlowitz. Sailboats, small boats,
powerboats and workboats are captured in
brilliant color and are beautifully reproduced in
this elegant 12" x 24" wall calendar. Insightful and entertaining captions are
provided by wooden boat expert Maynard Bray. $29.95
complex and much is contained
in this book.
“ Victor comes from the
Russian school of thinking,”
writes Bertrand, winner of the
America’s Cup and an Olympic
bronze medallist. “ He talks
about heart, about passion. He
is a philosopher, a dreamer ...
Victor is at home within the elements of wind and water.”
Victor himself says he has a simple philosophy: Year one is to
excite the imagination of his athletes, inspire in them to explore the
possibilities of “what if’’; to unshackle their minds, their imaginations;
to contemplate the potential of pure boat speed; to be one with the
wind and the water,
Year two is to get them race-hardened in international fleet
and match racing, competing in the World, European and US
championships and all the top world class regattas. Year three is
to dominate the world.
The Medal Maker traces Victor’s early sailing in the old Soviet
Union, as an accomplished sailor himself and then his rise to be an
outstanding coach, achieving a bronze medal win by the Ukraine
470 sailors, followed by the nation’s first gold at Atlanta in 1996.
With political jealousy in the post-Soviet Ukrainian system,
Victor jumped at the chance to coach the Australian team which had
fared so poorly at the Athens Games. In three years, he remarkably
produced two gold medal winning crews at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
To date in eight Olympics, Victor’s team have amassed ten
Olympic medals, six of them gold. He’s not done. Victor’s new target:
the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Sailing to Purgatory
by Paul Rodgers
published by Olympia Publishers
RRP $10.95 (277pp; 130mm x
A colourful story, the final voyage, a
single-hander’s farewell to the sea. However,
it is not an easy book to read with Paul
Rodger’s prose at times too extravagant,
his commentary too philosophical in his
description of the 8,000 nautical mile
An experienced ocean-going professional sailor, Rodgers set
sail in a fast, good handling Farr 38 named Sal from Puerto La Cruz,
Venezuela, with a rough and ready Aussie crew named Bob.
The book lacks continuity and a clear outline of Sal ’s course but
Rodgers’ account is full of adventure – facing fierce storms, pausing
on an island of lust (I must have missed that chapter and the name
of the island), being detained by aggressive customs officials, and
finally ‘swallowing the anchor’ as his journey ended.
But the homecoming proved not to be the anticipated heaven
of retirement, marriage and peace that it promised. “ In reality it was
Purgatory,” Rodgers recalls in this rather well-named book, in which
he suffered ambush, injustice and imprisonment.
Purgatory is a book that should be read as quickly as possible
following the sailings of Sal and her master mariner skipper and
his friends. h
The Medal Maker:
A Biography of Victor Kovalenko
by Roger Vaughan
published by Altamir-Verlag GmbH
RRP $39.95 (288pp; 140mm x 220mm)
A great book about a great man, Victor Kovalenko, the most
successful Olympic sailing coach the world has ever seen. Remarkably,
in eight Olympic Games to date, Victor’s teams have amassed ten
Olympic medals, six of them gold.
This is a fascinating biography, expertly written by Roger Vaughan
(whose books have included Ted Turner, the Man Behind the Mouth) and
based on extensive interviews with Kovalenko, his family, friends
and the sailors he has mentored.
I first met Victor when I was press officer for sailing at the Sydney
2000 Olympics although I had seen his results for the Ukraine sailors
covering the Atlanta and Seoul Olympics.
At Sydney 2000, the thrill of seeing King and Turnbull crossing
the line to win the men’s 470 gold medal is something I will always
remember. Then followed the even more remarkable women’s 470
gold victory by Rechichi and Parkinson.
It was the start of a remarkable upsurge in Australian Olympic
sailing, becoming number one sailing nation in the world after
winning three gold and two silver at the London Games.
Why has Victor achieved such success as a sailing coach? As
John Bertrand writes in his forward to The Medal Maker the answer is
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