• Left for Dead

  • The Untold Story of the Tragic 1979 Fastnet Race
  • By: Sinead O'Brien, Nick Ward
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 03-12-13
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 (84 ratings)

Regular price: $18.19

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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Brodie on 02-09-15

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.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By David Calfee on 06-07-18


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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Rupert on 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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By william r on 06-14-18


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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