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Dick Carter: Yacht Designer In the Golden Age of Offshore Racing


 : Dick Carter: Yacht Designer In the Golden Age of Offshore Racing

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Binding: Hardcover
EAN: 9780997392074
Edition: 1st Edition
ISBN: 099739207X
Item Dimensions: 1032824300109
Label: Seapoint Books
Languages: EnglishPublishedEnglishOriginal LanguageEnglishUnknown
Manufacturer: Seapoint Books
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 192
Publication Date: October 26, 2018
Publisher: Seapoint Books
Release Date: October 26, 2018
Studio: Seapoint Books

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Editorial Review:

Product Description:

From the Introduction by John Rousmaniere:

John Rousmaniere is author, of Fastnet, Force 10, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, A Berth to Bermuda, After the Storm, and other books about sailing and the sea.

For years I have said that sailboat racing is like malaria,” writes Dick Carter in his stimulating memoir. “You never get rid of it.”

That's one of the rules of life in this very entertaining and instructive memoir of a man obsessed not only with boats but also with the lure and challenge of radical innovation. As he says, I love examples of ideas that are counter-intuitive.” Put such a mind in a sailboat and there's no telling what will happen. When he came out of nowhere in 1965, The New York Times called Dick the “mystery man in American yachting.” A young businessman and Yale graduate from inland New Hampshire who first sailed on a small lake, he transformed himself through a spectacular act of will into a brilliant, daring yacht racer and designer. He changed his sport, creating new types of boats and winning big races while surviving daring voyages.

It was a moment engraved in my memory,” he writes of one of these adventures. “For the first time in my life, I was leaving the civilized world and moving into Mother Nature's vast realm… all to be experienced from the deck of a 34-footer.”

Despite his lack of formal training in naval architecture, Dick Carter made himself into a skilled yacht designer with radical ideas and a record of daring and continuing success. Blessed with what sailors call “an eye for a boat”―an intuitive understanding of why some boats sail faster and better than others and the ability to transform that understanding into new expressions―he also had an insight into how intuition blossoms when it is teamed with a probing mind and personal courage.

When he dared not only to build a boat to his design, Rabbit, but to enter the high-tech, cutting-edge, elite regattas run by the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Dick Carter surprised everybody by winning the prestigious Fastnet Race. Over the next decade he and his boats dominated the intensely competitive new golden age of Grand Prix yacht racing, sometimes in American waters but mostly in the windy, rough, cold English Channel and the North Sea. In Rabbit and other boats, he and his loyal crews beat the world's best sailors and yacht designers, meanwhile establishing a new look and innovative technology for racing yachts.

His influence reached all the way to the America's Cup, whose breakthrough 1967 winner, Intrepid (designed by Olin Stephens, the world's most successful yacht designer) sported an important new feature that Dick had developed on his own, the trim tab. When the sailing world decided to change its design rating rules, he was so widely respected that he was appointed to the planning committee alongside Stephens.

This story of the underdog sailor taking on the world (and conquering it, too) is often surprising―and also roundly entertaining as well as inspiring and instructive. His approach was straightforward: challenge the common wisdom with a daring that he described this way: “Once a challenge is met, or met successfully, that is enough for me.”

The last challenge was the first he could not successfully meet―the petroleum crisis of the 1970s that depleted economies and nearly destroyed the boating business. Dick Carter, just a decade after he burst on the scene, retired from boats, and moved on to a whole other life so completely that, before long, many of his old friends and shipmates were sure he has died.

Now Dick is he is back, with his remarkable story.


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