Confessions of a Grinder

Brad Lewis, Author McGraw-Hill/Contemporary $17.95 (214p) ISBN 978-0-8092-4592-5
Dennis Connor, John Bertrand and Thomas Blackaller are familiar names to those who follow the America's Cup competition; their crews, the muscle-power that handles sail, are largely anonymous. Here is a lively account of the crew on one challenger in the 1986-87 race. Olympic gold medalist (rowing) Lewis was one of five midship crewmen on the USA under Blackaller; as grinder, he manned the winches that hoist and trim sails. He recounts eight months of training and racing from San Francisco to Fremantle, Australia, with few days off; it was a life that combined luxury and near-slavery. Crewmen for the USA were paid $1000 a month with room and board plus ``enough clothing to open our own store.'' Lewis conveys the suspense and anticipation in Fremantle as the elimination trials got under way (USA was eliminated in the semifinals by Stars and Stripes). This is a highly entertaining, different story of the America's Cup sure to attract readers interested in sailing. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
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