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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best on the subject
If you have read other books on the 1998 Sydney-Hobart race, you will definitely like this one. Because it concentrates on only three yachts, you feel like you get to know the people sailing these boats. Unless you really were there in '98, I don't think you can know what it's like to sail in 70+ knot wind with monster waves, but Knecht sure comes close. Highly...
Published on 5 July 2001

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A WOMAN'S OPINION
I truly have mixed emotions about The Proving Ground, G. Bruce Knechts true life account of the disastrous 1998, 630 mile Sydney, Australia to Hobart yacht race. Some have compared this book to The Perfect Storm, but aside from the basic scenario of man versus the treacherous whims of Mother Nature there is really no comparison. While the men of Perfect Storm were driven...
Published on 20 Jun 2012 by Red Rock Bookworm


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best on the subject, 5 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Proving Ground (Hardcover)
If you have read other books on the 1998 Sydney-Hobart race, you will definitely like this one. Because it concentrates on only three yachts, you feel like you get to know the people sailing these boats. Unless you really were there in '98, I don't think you can know what it's like to sail in 70+ knot wind with monster waves, but Knecht sure comes close. Highly recommended for people who like good stories, and a must-read for yacht racers who want to learn from this tragic event.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A WOMAN'S OPINION, 20 Jun 2012
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Red Rock Bookworm (St. George Utah USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Proving Ground: The Inside Story of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Boat Race (Paperback)
I truly have mixed emotions about The Proving Ground, G. Bruce Knechts true life account of the disastrous 1998, 630 mile Sydney, Australia to Hobart yacht race. Some have compared this book to The Perfect Storm, but aside from the basic scenario of man versus the treacherous whims of Mother Nature there is really no comparison. While the men of Perfect Storm were driven to the sea in order to provide food and shelter for themselves and their families, Proving Ground takes a look at a group of men who are highly successful in their chosen professions (and in many cases filthy rich) as they lay it all on the line for what appears to be nothing more than an adrenaline rush, and in case of some participants, a severe case of galloping machismo.

This is not a criticism of Knecht's research, writing or his presentation of the facts. That the book was able to generate the emotions in me that it did is a tribute to the writer's ability to tell a story. Focusing primarily on 3 boats and their crews, he relates how both men and their vessels performed during a catastrophic storm and delves into the anxiety ridden, sometimes heroic, sometimes faulty judgment and character of the participants.

Perhaps this is a book that is more relatable to a male audience (particularly those who feel compelled to take to the seas). For a wife and mother, reading this account produced only feelings of anger. In my narrow view, this book appears to be a commentary on the arrogance and idiocy of certain race participants and their compelling need to prove to the world (and themselves) that they are "better than the average bear" and can succeed at anything they attempt no matter what the cost to themselves or others. I have never been able to understand what motivates the adrenaline junkies of the world nor can I wrap my head around the sort of egregious egotism and drives certain folks.
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