Brian Hancock is a writer who has raced sailing boats for over thirty years racking up some 250,000 nautical miles of experience including three Whitbread campaigns, one of which was on the infamous ‘Drum.’ He is also the author of six books, three of which he was employed to ghost write. Brian’s latest book, ‘Grabbing The World,’ is a memoir of how two friends – himself and former Vendée Globe sailor Josh Hall, doggedly persevered, despite numerous setbacks and false hopes, to start a brand new around-the-world race. The event, which became the Portimão Global Ocean Race after the Portuguese city fronted sponsorship for the race, started in October 2008 and was won by the German sailor Boris Herrmann.
Inspired by the ‘Around Alone’ (which became the VELUX 5 Oceans, but for 60’s only) the Portimão Global Ocean Race aimed to fill a niche for aspiring short-handed sailors racing either single and double-handed on 40 and 50ft monohulls. If you followed the race you may already know how events transpired. It was was a resounding success albeit with less than ten sailors on the start-line and ten minus three on the finish line. Behind the scenes however, it would appear a more sinister story was unfolding…
‘Grabbing the World’ is a well-written account of the year in which Hancock teetered on the brink of financial ruin struggling to feed his family and pay the mortgage; a year in which together with Josh Hall they managed to pull off the start of a potentially major round-the-world race, and a year which ended tragically with the betrayal of a friendship and later in divorce. The reader is readily transported up hills in head-cleansing early-morning runs and into Lisbon cafes for a carafe of wine and a sardine lunch. (For an amazing inside story that reveals how business deals can go bad, really bad, you need to read this. – Ed)
For anyone dreaming of their own short-handed sailing campaign there are lessons to be learnt from Brian’s book and for anyone who has entered or intends to enter the up-coming Global Ocean Race or Portugal Ocean Race, it is a must-read.
Sailing Anarchy readers can get a free pdf of the book and/or a free download in a variety of ePub formats. Find out more at www.brianhancock.org. – Lia Ditton.