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4.5 out of 5 stars33
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 27 July 1999
Having seen Pete speak at my companies' annual conference early July of 1999, I was eager to hear more of his fantastic tale. The book is clearly written with a laid back delivery of the high-level of drama it contains - much like the man himself.
Indeed, the book left me with much the same feeling as his presentation - wanting more and rather surprised that it had finished so soon. You feel, through Pete's very lucid writing, that you are reminiscing with a close friend over the last few years of their lives.
Pete describes life aboard a 50 foot yacht in vivid and 'non-seaman accessible' detail, yet much of the book is the story of the run up to the race and it is all the better for it.
As Pete says time and again, the race was not single-handed after all - it belonged to the incredible yet very normal group of people that got Pete and Aqua Quorum to the start line and eventually home again.
'Close to the Wind' is a book for anyone with an interest in the sea, adventure, teamwork or the story of an everyday chap that achieved his life-long dream - oh yes, and saved a fellow yachtman's life amid 60' waves and a huge storm in the most inhospitable ocean in the world... sorry nearly forgot to mention it...
Pete's incredible experiences have given him a simple but extremely insightful philosophy. The book is littered with excellent snippets of wisdom and it is these that will live on with you after you have put the book down... which I guarentee will be not that long after you pick it up....
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on 2 March 2000
I ploughed through this book like pete goss must have ploughed through the southern ocean... This is an informative, inspiring and generous book ..
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on 29 January 2000
In 1986 Pete Goss vowed that one day, he would fly the Red Ensign in the Vendee Globe, a single-handed round the world yacht race.
After 10 years of hard preparation and penury, chasing sponsorship that materialised and dematerialised with alarming frequency, Pete finally realised his dream in 1996.
But the race was not to turn out as he wished when storms and heavy seas in the Southern Ocean took their toll on the competitors: of 16 boats to start, only six finished. In the midst of all this, Pete faced an agonising decision to scupper his chances in the Race and beat back 160 miles to rescue a French competitor whose yacht had sunk underneath him.
Pete Goss's account of the events, commencing from his early sailing experiences through the learning curve and into the Vendee are a tour-de-force of adventure writing.
Though the book is not as detailed as one would like in the latter stages, and the reader may get confused by some of the more technical yachting terms, the book is nevertheless a gripping and satisfying read of epic dimensions.
I read the last half of the book late one night purely because I literally could not put it down - something that is rare for me to do. The final 100 pages will leave the reader breathless!
A cracking read, one of the best books I have read in years.
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on 13 January 1999
If you are one of those tough sailors who have "Done it All" then read this book. I'm sure that you will review your achievements when you read the last word of the last page. The sort of book that you will not put down. I bought it at the airport on an overnight trip into Europe and 24 hours later when landing back in London I sat for 30 minutes in the arrivals hall so that I could finish the last few pages. There is no way that I could face the 1 hour drive home before reading that last word. Read it, it is a must for everyone who has been anywhere near a boat at some time.
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on 28 January 2013
After reading Touching The Void I thought 'That's it, no other book on sporting endurance could ever be as good as this'. Recently I was gifted Close To The Wind, and have a policy of always reading books that are gifts, whether I would have chosen them myself or not. What a revelation! This story had me gripped from page one. You will find yourself as concerned about Pete's welfare as though he was a personal friend. He is living proof that someone can posses a fierce competetive spirit without trashing their humanity. It really doesn't matter if you are passionate about sailing or couldn't care less about it. In CTTW you will find an enthralling human drama that will leave you invigorated about your own life.
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on 30 January 1999
Pete Goss sets an example to us all of how to make dreams come true through single minded determination and relentless focus. The single-handed around-the-world races are the ultimate test of endurance and character, and Pete makes the grade with flying colours. Although the narrative slows somewhat as the seemingly endless financial problems are described in detail the climax comes with the thrilling account of the Christmas Day rescue of a fellow yachtsman in the mountainous seas of the Southern Ocean, an event which made headlines around the world. This book is well worth reading, not just by armchair sailors, but anyone who enjoys a tale of adventure and triumph over adversity.
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on 3 May 2000
Welcome to my first review of one of the very first books I've bought through Amazon.
I decided to read this book on the undersatnding that it was a true account of much adventure on the high seas by a man alone. I was wrong but never dissappointed. I should have paid more attention to other reviews. This is about a huge team effort and all the preparations that go into a single handed non-stop circumnavigation when you don't have any money to do so!
The account is very believable, easy to read and maybe a little short of good written visualisation (if you've read 'Perfect Storm' you'll know what I mean). However, Pete Goss comes over as a very likeable man and you will him along as you read.
The story of the actual race is quite short but nicely told. Missing is an understanding why he does these thing alone and I'd like him to reveal more of himself to the reader.
I don't want to appear too critcal - I neither write well or sail! Go and buy the book - it is inspiring.
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on 11 June 2012
I have never seen my husband so gripped to a book as he was with this. He inhaled the book in 4 days. I would go to sleep at night with him reading and wake up to find him already up and reading again. He has told me it was an amazing book to read, he likes the whole fact that it was such a passion of petes to sail that he would do anything necessary to get there. Even on the day he was due to sail he was still awaiting sponsorship and unsure he was going to achieve it. It installs a person with confidence, motivation and eagerness to read such a book and so I highly recommend this read to anyone interested in long haul sailing or extream experiences.
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on 6 June 2013
I could not put this book down! What a read, I was almost crying during the part that detailed Pete's heroics in saving his fellow competitor.

I am a sailor, lucky enough to have circumnavigated once many years ago, although never more southerly than 41 degrees south. It reminded me so much of the Antartic storms in winter, the book took me right back. It's an awesome story of strength, determination, heroism and graciousness. I already knew I hadn't really experienced the Southern Oceans and having read this I most defiantly know that to be true.

Inspirational right the way through.
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on 23 October 1998
While told a bit breathlessly, this is a page turner for those of us who would never even dream about sailing singlehandedly around the world and confronting the savage power and awsome beauty of the Southern Ocean. But Pete Goss' determination to live out his dream is told well and illuminates the great difficulties in actually mounting and carrying out such a voyage. Making the 1,000th sponser seeking call and repairing generators in 40 foot seas is what it is all about. Plus, were it not for a more than understanding spouse, he never would have made it!
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