America's Cup

Dennis Conner, Author, Michael Levitt, Author, Michael Levitt, Joint Author St. Martin's Press $29.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-18567-1
In 1992 Levitt published a history of the America's Cup since its inception in 1851, subtitling it ""the official record."" But this collaboration with three-time Cup winner Conner is a livelier look at this international race, concentrating on the competition from 1903 to the present. Certainly the greatest change has been the democratization of the event: for the greater part of its life, the America's cup was the plaything of the super-rich like Harold Vanderbilt and Sir Thomas Lipton. Indeed, Lipton was such an admired perennial loser that, in his final attempt to win the Cup, most Americans were rooting for him. But in the 1970s such figures as American Ted Turner and Australian Alan Bond broke with the genteel tradition and, at a time when the race was taking on a more international flavor, focused on winning at all costs. Especially interesting are the Aussie win in 1983, ending the U.S. winning streak of 132 years, the longest in any sport, and New Zealand's victory of in 1995. Although much of the text, filled with sailing jargon and structural details of the ships, will interest only frequent sailors, the authors do a splendid job of bringing to life the eccentricities and egos of the participants. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
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