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Mayday on the Illusion!

Editor’s note: This excerpt is from Michael Tougias’ newly released “A Storm Too Soon,” which tells the story of four boats in mayday situations off the Carolinas on May 7, 2007, during powerful Tropical Storm Andrea. Nine of the 13 sailors on the boats survived. This is the story of the three who were rescued aboard Illusion.



Sandy aftermath: recovering from ‘total devastation’

Superstorm Sandy left thousands of boats high and dry from New Jersey to New York and Connecticut.Superstorm Sandy upended just about every aspect of Steve Stavracos’ life. Not only did the Long Island, N.Y., marina owner suffer hurricane damage to his business, but Sandy also totaled his boat and flooded his home.



Boat Girl

Raised as a liveaboard, she finds ‘normal’ life doesn’t measure up

I was born in 1979 and taken directly home from the hospital to my parents’ Gulfstar Sailmaster 47, Chez Nous. My sister was born two years later and brought home to the same boat. Until we grew up and went off on our own, my sister and I were “boat girls.”



Jury-rigging, mentors and the call of the sea

In 2009, Rich Wilson became only the second American to finish the Vendee Globe.Editor’s note: In 2008-09, Rich Wilson became only the second American to finish the Vendée Globe, the non-stop single-handed sailboat race around the world that has been called the “most grueling and dangerous prolonged competition on the planet.” Wilson, 58 at the time and a severe asthmatic, came in ninth among 11 finishers (out of 30 starters), sailing 29,000 miles over 121 days in his Open 60 Great American III. He endured broken ribs, a facial gash, a climb up the mast on his run to Cape Horn, sleep deprivation and fear. He recounts his adventure in his just published “Race France to France: Leave Antarctica to Starboard,” available in paperback and e-book formats. The next edition of the Vendée starts Nov. 10.



Ocean racing’s A-Team is French

At its core, the Vendee remains a human adventure first and a sports event second. That is what is so compelling.The French are the major-leaguers of short-handed ocean racing, yet many U.S. sailors are unaware of the great French ocean races and racers.

I offer two comparisons:



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