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Fatal Storm: The Inside Story of the Tragic Sydney-Hobart Race

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  293 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Harrowing shoreside reading.--BooklistShould be required reading for all ocean sailors.--Library JournalThe first book to recount the disastrous events of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race, Fatal Storm is sure to be a popular paperback selection. Rob Mundle takes readers through every white-knuckling hour of the gale that descended in the predawn hours of December 27, ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 17th 2000 by International Marine Publishing (first published January 1st 1999)
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♥ Marlene♥
This is what I wrote about this book: on Sunday, July 29, 2007

8 out of 10
Completed it last night. It took me a while to finish but that is also because I only read for 45 minutes at night.
All my time went to The Tour de France or should I say Tour de Force (Rasmussen) :-(

Anyways. I don't know anything about sailing. When I read this book I must admit it feels like another sport, like mountain climbing where people like to do dangerous sports and put there lives in jeopardy but don't think of th
May 13, 2009 Boppi rated it really liked it
They say that ocean racing is like standing naked under a freezing shower, ripping up thousand dollar bills.
I have always wondered what makes people climb high mountains, sail singer handed around the world. I think it must have something to do with adrenaline addiction. The pat answer, "Because it's there" some how doesn't wash with me.
This book is proof positive that, no matter how experienced you are, and how strong the boat you are sailing in, the sea can always beat you. Six people died on
David Ward
Fatal Storm: The Inside Story of the Tragic Sydney-Hobart Race by Rob Mundle (International Maritime / MacGraw Hill 1999) (797.14) is one intense book; it’s about the niche world of high-stakes world-class yacht racing. This is an exciting and terrifying read. The author's description of the seas in the Southern Ocean scared the heck out of me, and I ain't afraid of nuthin'. If you liked The Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air, then you'll love this. I highly recommend it. My rating: 7.5, finished 2 ...more
Michelle O'flynn
Jun 16, 2010 Michelle O'flynn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: sailors, adventurers, rescue teams, teambuilders
“FATAL STORM” by Rob Mundle (non-fiction)

This book was re-released for the 10th anniversary of the tragic 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race that resulted in the deaths of 6 competitors, 55 sailors were rescued by vessel and helicopter and saw numerous boats retired, and 5 were sunk and lost forever. Of the 115 vessels entered only 44 finished the race, but Aspect Computing, crewed by sailors with a disability was one of them.

As a sailor myself, perhaps it wasn’t the right time to read this book w
Nick Smart
May 20, 2015 Nick Smart rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-2015
Fatal storm is a really good book because of it in depth insight into the horrible 1998 Rolex Sydney to Hobart and what happened that week. The book outlines how terrific that race was that year it tells you all about before the race, what happened during and the horrible aftermath of rescues and pronouncing people dead. The book includes a set of pages with horrific photos of the boats getting hammered into the water. The Author also writes about the weather of the race and how it impacted the ...more
Reading Reader
Jun 19, 2014 Reading Reader rated it liked it
I'm a total stranger to off-shore racing, but the concept here seemed interesting. Unfortunately Mundle brings the details but forgets the story.

There are definitely some excellent, gripping anecdotes and quotes interspersed through Fatal Storm, and some sections that left me amazed at what the sailors endured and survived. On the whole, however, the book feels too much like a report and too little like a narrative.

The chapters about the boats' individual experiences (which make up a fair chunk
Jenny Gilchrist
Oct 31, 2014 Jenny Gilchrist rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. I'm not a sailor, but living in Sydney I found the geographical details of this book very interesting for a start. (pardon the pun).
I enjoyed the sailing jargon, out of the mouths of the sailors themselves, and the way the story was written, in chronological fashion, was clever and the best way to tell this tangled, convoluted story.
The story itself, being non fiction, was staggering. A nightmare. The freezing treacherous ocean, the murderous waves, and banshee winds combines to chil
Nov 25, 2012 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Bored on a flight to Frankfurt, I gave this a go. Within twenty pages it was irritating me with its old fashioned world view, ultra sports bore mentality and Aussie "We are the greatest sporting and sailing nation on earth" bravado. It's also very old school and boorish. One scene summed it up as a bunch of "old boys" who entered the race felt it appropriate on the morning of the start to see the "youngsters" off by drinking longer in the bar than anyone else. Are we supposed to admire this in ...more
Dec 14, 2012 itpdx rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
For the past couple of days I have been in a world of blue skies, singing birds and colorful flowers but my mind has been in a world of screaming wind, moving mountains of water and a color palette of black, white and grey. This is the story of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart sailing race--the participants who survived, those who didn't and their rescuers. Rob Mundle tells a truly amazing and absorbing story of a hurricane that develops during the race. The book contains wonderful photos of the ...more
Walter Van praag
Mar 01, 2016 Walter Van praag rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shoreside Reading! As i was reading this whilst sailing i glanced at the weather forecast regularly. These guys that survived the 54th Sydney to Hobart race were incredibly lucky to have survived. this book is a collection of harrowing witness accounts and events leading up to the race. To read how the various disasters unfolded and how there was just no turning back should remind every wannabee oceon sailer to revise all their safety equipment and procedures prior to risking potentially ...more
Dec 20, 2015 Markt5660 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
An excellent description of one of the worst sailing disasters in the history of modern ocean racing; the 1998 Sydney to Hobart race. The number of deaths, injuries, mangled racing yachts and rescues is off the charts. Just the description of one dis-masted 45 ft. yacht "surfing" down the face of a 70' plus wave and finding itself "in the pipe" with the wave curling over it is hard to comprehend. It's also a testament to the overwhelmed rescue crews that flew out into hurricane winds, dropped ...more
Grey Rzeznik
When it comes down to it, the ocean will do as she pleases. Woe to the poor souls caught in the cross hairs.

A series of errors, both in judgment and mechanical, lead up to the tragic events of the Sydney-Hobart ocean race. It's not a coarse for the faint of heart to begin with, but add in a horrific storm and it's a wonder more lives weren't lost. Rob Mundle does a great job of telling the stories and respecting the facts as they unfolded. You know what the end result is, but it doesn't make the
Sep 24, 2009 Leigh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Fascinating account of the hurricane that destroyed the Sydney to Hobart yacht race in 1998. Each ship is carefully described and the crews are made real in a way that makes their struggle to survive a vicious hurricane unforgettable. I literally could not put this book down.
I really could not get into this book. I usually adore nonfiction stories of the sea, but for whatever reasons I had trouble getting through this book, and only made it about halfway through before setting it aside.
Oct 31, 2014 Lynette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book, really got the heart thumping at times. If you have anything to do with sailing, and even if you don't, this book with certainly help you to appreciate what some of these people face out there on the water.
Aug 18, 2008 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great adventure book, worthy of the legacy of "Into Thin Air" about people who love a sport / adventure and are faced with disaster. Each chapter covers how a different boat survived this difficult storm (as well as those who perished).
Nov 25, 2012 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
I've read several books devoted to the Sydney-Hobart race. It was a horrific race and Rob Mundle writes it well, not dwelling on the tragedies or the triumphs, but gives a flavour of how it must have felt to be out there. Excellent read.
Apr 06, 2012 John rated it really liked it
an excellent, almost no nonsense account of the Sydney to Hobart Race Disaster. Occassionally it lapses into sueprlatives "illinformed people called for the race to be abandoned..." in sneering judgement, but it's a cracking read
Jan 18, 2015 Charlie rated it liked it
Reasonable account of a tragic race. I got all the boats mixed up however and couldn't really remember who everyone was.
Beth A
Jul 29, 2011 Beth A rated it liked it
Normal people will wonder why sailors continue to challenge Mother Nature. True story about the Sydney to Hobart race in 1998 where many lost their lives in a sailboat race.
Mary Ann
Jun 06, 2009 Mary Ann rated it really liked it
Dramatically told true story of the sailors and rescuers heroic battle against a freak sudden storm with hurricane-force winds and waves towering six feet high.
Angus Calvert
May 03, 2012 Angus Calvert rated it really liked it
Fatel storm is a great book with an amazing story about a tragic race. My dad took part in this targic race and suvived. This book showed me what it was like to bein this race
Alison Loughran-fowlds
Amazing account of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race disaster. The personal accounts are harrowing. Couldn't put it down.
Oct 11, 2009 Anna rated it it was amazing
Gripping page-turner! Take Dramamine before reading the ship-tossing stories of sailing racing yachts through a hurricane... The grit of the sailors who ran this race is incomprehensible.
Tania rated it really liked it
Nov 25, 2012
Habaneroman rated it really liked it
May 31, 2016
Simon Robins
Simon Robins rated it liked it
Feb 05, 2014
Redho Febriano
Redho Febriano rated it it was ok
Jul 13, 2015
Elanor rated it really liked it
Jun 28, 2016
Nick rated it it was amazing
Jul 29, 2012
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Rob Mundle is the author of the highly acclaimed international bestseller Fatal Storm. He has written six other books, including the bestselling Sir James Hardy: An Adventurous Life, Alan Bond’s authorised biography,Bond, and Life at the Extreme, the official record of the 2005/2006 Volvo Ocean Race round the world. He lives in Main Beach, Queensland.
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