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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.

What listeners say about Left for Dead

Average Customer Ratings
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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.

1 person found this helpful

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ugreat story, brilliantly read

this book mixes a harrowing story with the factual account of this race and storm.

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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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  • andrew
  • 03-09-21

Too much reverence

The book may be better read than listened to. Presumably the book includes detailed drawings of the boat, the route etc. Either way the narrator reads the book with an irritating excess of reverence; like a minister of old reading an exert from the bible.

1 person found this helpful

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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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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-17-21

Sunk

Don’t know how but what sounded like it was going to be a great story turned into a boring tale.
Waste of a credit

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-26-21

Harrowingv sailing story

amazing true story. full of courage grit determination and tragedy. a must read for anyone who sails or is intrigued as to why people sail.

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  • Simon prescott
  • 06-19-21

Fascinating, insightful and touching…

This is a very personal story which gives an insight of the ambition of a young lad to take part in this well-known race and the totally horrific experience it resulted in… The storm sounds horrific and I can’t contemplate what it must’ve been like to go through that. As a sailor it is fascinating but it has a much wider audience and is very engaging on a personal level, well worth a read! I must admit I’m glad I listen to this on audio as well, which seemed fantastically well presented.

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  • AliB
  • 05-23-21

Excellent book, poor narration

I read this book some years ago and really enjoyed it so I was looking forward to listening to it on audible when it popped up in an offer.
Unfortunately the narration is very strange. Every couple of sentences there will be a couple of words where the rhythm and tone of the words sound mechanical/computerised. Might just be me, but it really takes me out of the story when it happens. A real shame, the book itself is great.

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  • Jo Shap
  • 05-08-21

An inspiring, gut-wrenching read. Highly recommended

Loved this book.
Would love to meet the author and let him know how inspired I was by his determination and courage. Beautifully written, lovely narration.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-08-21

Shockingly realistic

Wow, probably one of the best books I have listened to on audible. Great story and so well told.

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  • Trine
  • 05-03-21

A tough & touching story about the will to survive

As a sailor and beeing 13 years at the time of the race I remember the stories about Fastnet Race 1979. This book tells a very emotional story about his experiences. Maybee you have to be sailor and know the vocabulary, but the story of the authors struggle to survive and his relationship to and use of his dead fellow crewmember Gerry is touching.