Left for Dead

The Untold Story of the Tragic 1979 Fastnet Race
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (126 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Fastnet Race is the world famous yacht race from the Isle of Wight to the Fastnet Rock off the southwest coast of Ireland and back. The race of 1979 began in perfect weather conditions but within 48 hours, the deadliest storm in the history of modern sailing struck off the south coast of Ireland. By the time it had passed, the havoc caused was immeasurable. Even more devastating, it had mercilessly taken the lives of 15 sailors. It had been Nick Ward's childhood ambition to sail in the Fastnet Race, and after being asked to join the crew aboard the 30-foot yacht Grimalkin it was a dream come true. But then the storm hit.

Grimalkin was capsized again and again, the skipper was lost overboard and after hours of struggle, three of the crew decided to abandon the boat for the liferaft. Nick and his fellow crewmember Gerry, both injured and unconscious, were left on the beleaguered yacht in the middle of the Irish Sea. Both were presumed dead, and were taken off the priority list for rescue. Gerry died a few hours later, and Nick was left to face the storm alone.

Left for Dead is the tragic and inspirational story of Nick Ward's survival against all the odds. It is the story of an ordinary man who survived an extraordinary event. It was an experience that affected him so deeply that for over 25 years his story has remained untold - until now.

©2010 Nick Ward and Sinead O'Brien (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about Left for Dead

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excellent

didn't want to put it down. well written story of survival againt the elements and sea

2 people found this helpful

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A must for all sailing addicts

This book is about the human spirit, the desire to try, to pit ones skills against nature as much as it is about sailing. The race of 79 was terrible but the stories it produced are well worth a listen if you have a yen to be at sea.

2 people found this helpful

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For a landlubber

Even knowing and caring nothing about sailing I found this book riveting. I finally just sat down and listened. The outcome is of course known from the beginning but the writing is so vivid that I was in suspense throughout. This will definitely transport you from your current surroundings.

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Gripping!

Stick with it until the end! Very detailed accounts of what went through Nick's mind over the period of time before he was rescued may feel tedious, but it does bring you right into the mindset one can be in in such an ordeal. It is so mentally irritating I wanted to turn off the book and escape. Then I realized that this is one of the book's virtues. Nick could not just abandon ship. So I did not abandon book. A great read!

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An exciting real life sailing story.

The book puts you in the race, in the storm, left alone on the ship in the storm...You feel and experience what the author went through. It is difficult to put down. I recommend finding a secluded spot and listening in one setting.

You know the author did not sail in the race again, but I am left wondering if he went back to sailing. I certainly hope so. If so, I wish he had told of how it felt to be back on the sea.

As always, Simon Vance's performance is exceptional.

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Wonderful account

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a book that captivates with the true account of surviving a gale during a yacht race off the coast of Ireland. it is especially engrossing if you have ever been on a boat.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Left for Dead?

The whole book was beautifully written, and Simon Vance is a master at reading. The gale and the horror of the situation are absorbing, horrific, emotional and moving.

Which scene was your favorite?

It was such a relief when the suffering was over.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely

Any additional comments?

If you have any sailing experience at all this book will be one of your favorites.

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Engrossing

What did you like best about this story?

The manner in which the authors bring the reader onto the boat and into his head is remarkable. Not being a sailing expert myself, I found it easy to understand the vernacular used during the story. However, this is as much a story about the psychology of survival rather than a sailing story. The author does an excellent job of bringing the reader into the thoughts and the ever-present internal struggle.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. At times it was somewhat too intense to manage in one sitting.

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Amazing account of trial at sea

Very good first person retelling of what it was like aboard a small boat in a massive storm. Recommend any sailor read it.

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  • Gibbo90909
  • 11-18-18

Great audiobook,

Gripping from start to finish, once you have listened follow it up with some of the fastnet documentaries on YouTube.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rupert
  • 02-21-14

A moving story beautifully told

What made the experience of listening to Left for Dead the most enjoyable?

The utter honestly of the author as he recounted an incredibly distressing moment in his life, and the great detail with which he recounted the story. Details, which to a fellow sailor and Fastnet race competitor such as myself, brought the story to life in a way in which no non-sailor could possibly hope to achieve.

What did you like best about this story?

I believe this is the best retelling of the greatest maritime disaster in an international race in the history of sailing that I have ever come across. This coupled with the incredibly sad story and the impeccable detail of Nick Ward made it a breathtaking novel. I would especially recommend this to anyone who has sailed in the Fastnet race, as I found that my own experience in this historic race further brought the story to life.

Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to one of his previous performances. However, his clarity of voice allowed me to enjoy the story fully, without being distracted by an annoying accent or by irregular breaks in the narrators performance, which to me is a crucial factor in whether or not I can enjoy the story.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I think it would be difficult not to react emotionally to this story. The seeming utter lack of hope, tied in with the sad demise of Nick's best friend and that of the skipper are truly saddening. This is made even more sad when you consider how far the author had to go to take part in this truly historic race.

1 person found this helpful

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  • William Rymer
  • 11-09-19

Emotionally charged

Read it twice and now on audible. The last few chapters always have me on the verge of tears. Nick is not a hero in the traditional sense. He was a human in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he pours out an amazingly honest plethora of emotions.

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  • T. Griffith
  • 11-18-18

Scary but true!

Amazed that the author didn't have a fit. He was epileptic and no access to his medicine.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-02-18

chilling<br />

thoroughly enjoyed this book!
good mix of story and technical details.
would recommend to others with an interest in sailing

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  • william r
  • 06-14-18

excellent

Very well written harrowing tale about humanity and survival, exceptionally well narrated. Possibly the best narration of all audio books so far, it really does make this book come to life

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  • P. S. Clarke
  • 03-15-18

Inspirational

Story of one mans battle against the elements but also against the personnel demons it created.

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  • Mark
  • 03-07-18

Great story

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Yes, sack the narrator, horrendously nauseating sickly irritable....shall i go on, completely spoilt the listen

What did you like best about this story?

fantastic real life story

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  • Dave
  • 05-08-16

what an amazing story

1st book I've listened to from start to finish. Could not turn it off, for me this was up there with Touching the void. The author really knows how to tell a story.