Sailing Biographies, Autobiographies and True Stories

Sailing Biographies and Autobiographies



True Sailing Stories and other Sailing Non-Fiction

My Favourite Sailing Non-Fiction

America's Cup Books

Long Distance Racing

Round the World Racing

Close to the Wind by Pete Goss

Against the Flow by Dee Caffari

Race Against Time by Ellen MacArthur

Taking on the World by Ellen MacArthur

A World of My Own by robin Knox-Johnstone

Saved by Tony Bullimore

Fastnet Race

Left for Dead

Fastnet Force 10: The Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing

Sydney - Hobart


A Voyage for Madmen

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United States
UK & Ireland

A Voyage for Madmen is a sailing classic - compellingly readable, and stuffed full of insight and information on the first Golden Globe Single-Handed Round the World Yacht Race.

Left for Dead

Ocean Crossing Wayfarer



Upset: Australia Wins the America's Cup

Winging It: Oracle Team USA's incredible Comeback to Defend the America's Cup

Muskrat: A Surprise Bid for the America's Cup

Saving Sailing

The Greatest Sailing Stories Ever Told

Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die

A Sail of Two Idiots


Three Ways to Capsize a Boat








Close to the Wind by Ben Ainslie

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United States
UK and Ireland

'Take it from a neutral observer: the most accomplished competitor at work in British sport today is Ben Ainslie. Chris Hoy, Lewis Hamilton and Rebecca Adlington deserve praise but the real fanfare should be reserved for Ainslie ... [He has] a combination of dedication, stamina, tactical nous and, the clincher here, a sustained level of ruthlessness rarely witnessed before in British sport.' - Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph

Sailing's superman - The Times

An interesting self-portrait ... it encapsulates his personality: pleasant and unassuming off the water, ruthless on it. - Independent

Born To Win by John Bertrand

Born to Win

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United States
UK and Ireland

Read my review

Born To Win is the best sailing biography I've read. If you can find a reasonably priced copy (or own a kindle), then I can't recommend this book enough.



Golden Lily

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United States
UK and Ireland

Read My Review

"Lijia Xu is a true sailing champion... an inspiration for sailors, particularly female sailors, around the world. But, as this fascinating autobiography reveals, there is far more to Lily than the medals she has won... Lily was the first ever Asian dinghy gold medallist. To achieve this, she had to supplement the Chinese emphasis on relentless training with help from outside China to really hone her sailing skills. On top of this, she has to overcome inherited physical frailties and career threatening injuries. Golden Lily is an enthralling account of Lily's life, whilst also being a fascinating eye-opener into the Chinese sports 'machine', where people like Lily become professional sportspeople at the age of 10, shedding light on the reality of growing up as a state sponsored child athlete... I have nothing but respect for Lily. I commend this book to anyone interested in sailing, sport or the differences between east and west." - Sir Ben Ainslie

'Fernhurst was established in 1979 to promote sailing in general and the Laser in particular, and it's wonderful that this tradition is being continued. Lily is indeed a sailing superstar and her book is original and inspiring. I read it straight through and was practically in tears at the end, she overcame so many problems and achieved her ultimate goal by sheer grit. A key part of the book is her series of affirmations, which really give an insight in to the character needed to win at this level. Any sailor, or indeed any sportsman, can gain so much from reading these. Once you can sail and have a good level of fitness, the rest is down to psychology - a positive attitude and lots of visualisation. The book makes these points so well.' - Tim Davison, Fernhurst founder

'I was totally fascinated by Lijia Xu's story. It is quite remarkable that she was able to overcome the rigid demands of the Chinese authorities and obtain a European coach. What she has achieved is therefore all the more remarkable.' - Bob Fisher

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