Temple to the Wind
An exciting sports biography where a yacht is the hero
Temple to the Wind, by Christopher Pastore, gives the early history of the America’s Cup races, when fortunes were spent on racing yachts with sails large enough to cover a shopping mall. There were rules, complicated calculations at times determining how long and wide the yachts could be, but the biggest rules were the laws of physics… and the laws of economics.
The Americas Cup races began as a British race in the mid-1800’s. On a race around the Isle of Wight won by the schooner America, the cup became the trophy for a competition dominated by the wealthy American industrialists of the Gilded Age like Cornelius Vanderbilt III and JP Morgan, but hotly contested by the wealthy British like Sir Thomas Lipton. As the competition heated up, the yachts got more and more expensive and monumental egos got more and more inflamed.
Along the way we learn about the construction of yachts and the genius of the naval architects who designed them.
The race of 1903 was perhaps the greatest America’s Cup race of them all. Both the Americans and Brits were tired of the constant challenges and both were determined to put up a yacht that would so dominate the race that the other would bow out for years. So the incredibly wealthy financed two of the most amazing sailing vessels ever constructed — the Shamrock III and the Reliance . The Reliance is the largest racing sloop ever built, measuring over 200 feet long and with more than 16,000 square feet of sail.
By the rules, the ships could only be a certain length and width, and by the laws of physics, the only way to be faster was to have more and more sail. This made the yachts dangerous.
And it makes Temple to the Wind an exciting sports biography where the hero is a yacht.
Christopher Pastore is a native Rhode Islander who grew up sailing and racing on Narragansett Bay. His book Temple to the Wind is available on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNobel.com. You can visit his website at www.christopherpastore.com