We gave it a C
Yes, extreme is a frighteningly overused appellation that’s been slapped on everything from adventure sports to potato chips. Yet such a label can be applied to the titular contest of this ocassionally gripping book: an around-the-world race involving catamarans and trimarans, ultrafast sailboats whose successful navigation demands a precarious balance of cutting-edge design and old-fashioned seamanship. Unfortunately, Zimmermann, in an effort to properly frame the event, squanders the first half of The Race with an informative but ultimately distracting history of competitive sailing — ballast that slows the reader down. A dangerously overloaded tale whose uneven pace renders it barely C-worthy.