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Books and DVD's about sailboat racing, learn about sailboat racing. Learn to go faster, sailboat racing tactics and how to race the Optimist and Laser.

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Morning Light DVD
Review
Morning Light is the true chronicle of a hand-picked team of young people who are given the chance to train and compete in the Transpac sailing event, which has been Roy E. Disney's passion since the mid-seventies.

I'm not a sailor but I have run marathons and triathlons and know the feeling of those comparably small triumphs (though I'll never win -- in fact one year i was passed by a man walking his dog!) The character of the individuals chosen, their work ethic and team spirit is very sincere and a far cry from the preening, backstabbing types that infect many TV reality shows. This follows a reality show format with lots of comments from the participants as well as a selection process where several are eliminated and are left to send messages from the mainland (where the food seems to be really good).

I found it much more compelling then the current crop of Hollywood sports movies in which a ragtag bunch of can't-possibly-win team members somehow come together under a down-and-out coach and eventually win as music swells... you know what I mean. The crew in Morning Light are a very likable group of people who you find yourself routing for (parent's note: there are a handful of words that earned this film a PG rating, but not nearly the kind of language also common on many reality shows).

The photography is stunning, especially the night shots, which I'm hoping are not computer generated since they are so breathtaking (say it ain't so, Roy). The score is good too, with contemporary music, songs and even a number by members of the crew at the end of the film. Where's the soundtrack album?

There are only two extras but both are rich in rounding out the full scope of this project. Hannah Montana's Jason Earles hosts one feature about the film's production itself, which sheds more light on the camera work, training and other elements. An ESPN special focuses on the elimination, showing more of the earlier hopefuls and clearly how some with "attitudes" were wisely given a polite dismissal.

In a sea of poor role models, kids can certainly do worse then getting to know this group of youths who not only worked hard and showed integrity but also went on to promising futures in careers or continuing education.

Maximum Sail Power: The Complete Guide to Sails, Sail Technology, and Performance by Brian Hancock
Book Description
Written in concise, layperson's language and full of photographs and personal anecdotes, this book goes step-by-step through the process of creating and using sails. Provided is a definitive look at the latest developments in sails, sailcloth, engineering, hardware, and sail trim. Also offered are case studies that illustrate which fibers, fabrics, and sails are suitable for a variety of different sailing applications, from simple dinghies and day sailors to offshore racing and cruising yachts. Sailors of all levels of interest and ability will find information they can apply to their own boats and sail choices.

Captain's Quick Guides : Sail Trim and Rig Tuning (Captainís Quick Guides) by Bill Gladstone
Book Description
The essential information every boater needs--onboard and at your fingertips. On the water, when questions arise, there is no time to spend searching through an exhaustive manual.
The Captain's QuickGuides provide all the answers--fast. Drawn from the world's largest boating library, each laminated QuickGuide presents 14 colour panels of authoritative, concise information on a critical topic.
This on-the-spot reference is ideal for boaters who need a convenient, accessible, and utterly streamlined information resource.

The Moonshine Logs by Francis Stokes
Midwest Book Review
The Mooneshine Logs is a wonderfully moving and insightful account covering Francis Stokes' modest beginnings in ocean racing to his later triumphs in his beloved Mooneshine.

Reviewer: Ronald C. Pearson from Houston, Texas
I have never had an interest in racing until I read, "The Moonshine Logs." This is an honest look at one man alone on the oceans of the world. Francis Stokes is not a superman, he is human and he tells you so. This book made me feel that I was out there in the races with the author and I loved being there. I have read it several times and intend to read it several more times. It has found a permanent home on my boat's bookshelf.
Race Winning Strategies: Smart Lessons With Deep Dakron by Tom Linskey, Tadami Takahashi(Illustrator)
SAIL Magazine, July 1996
A 15-minute dose of a chapter a day is the prescription to help whatever ails the racing program of the average club racer and to have fun while doing it. Book Description
Race Winning Strategies is an unconventional "how to race" book that introduces such wacky, but unique characters as Deep Dakron, Scratchen Sniff, Kent McBatten, and Zig Zag Brooke. Through their brisk banter, carried on in yacht club bars, sail lofts, and at races, we learn the secrets of successful sailboat racing in all kinds of weather and tactical situations.
Sail, Race and Win: Developing a Winning Attitude by Eric Twiname, Cathy Foster
Reviewer: alsarge from Bay Area, California
... as a lifelong sailor, this has been one of the best sailboat racing books I've read. More than specific sailboat racing tactics, the book discusses a whole approach to winning regattas.
Reviewer: A reader from Muncie, Indiana
Read Walker and still can't win? Twiname explores how we learn - or fail to learn - the techniques necessary for success in sailing. In a sport most of us learn without the benefit of an experienced coach, the author explains how you can be your own "sailing coach" and develope a training program to achieve your goals.

Championship Tactics: How Anyone Can Sail Faster, Smarter and Win Races by Gary Jobson
Reviewer: A reader
This is a great reference book for any racing enthusiast. It is not really the type of book that you can sit down and read cover to cover, but rather allows the reader to consult a number of topics in the order that they choose. It is an excellent source for the fundamentals of advanced racing (if that makes any sense). Reads very easily, but there is a lot of stuff in here to absorb. I highly recommend this, it should be in every racer's home library.

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