Wook Kim
June 28, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Race

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Tim Zimmermann
publisher
Houghton Mifflin
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it an 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.

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