Official Volvo Ocean Race Book Launched.

The official book of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 – Spanish Castle to White Night – is launched today. The account of the 2008-09 race, penned by Mark Chisnell, Has already been voted Best Sports Illustrated Book at SPORTEL Monaco, the international sports convention for television and new media, in early October.

The book tells the story of the 88 men who set off from beneath the ramparts of Alicante’s Castle of Santa Barbara. Only 36 would journey the full 37,000 nautical miles to finish in the White Nights of St Petersburg. Japan’s Black Tide, brutal weather, injuries, and even the credit crunch all took their toll.

It is illustrated with striking photography from a team that both followed and participated in the race, including Rick Tomlinson, whose work has been featured in National Geographic.

Photographic contributions also come from the eight Media Crew Members (MCMs) aboard each Volvo Open 70 who captured the drama as it unfolded. Among them was Rick Deppe, the MCM of PUMA’s il mostro, who was also a cameraman for the Emmy Award nominated Discovery Channel documentary, Deadliest Catch.

Mark says the book is focussed on a small group of men involved in the 2008-09 race. Spanish Castle to White Night is their story.

“I made the decision very early that if I tried to write about everything that happened to everyone, I would end up with a long list of disconnected events happening to disconnected people, without any context or meaning,”

“The only way around it was to pick a smaller group to follow through the whole nine months. It was a tough thing to do, I had a lot of friends sailing and working on this race, and the decision meant that some of them would only appear in the crew lists in the appendix. But there was never any doubt that telling more of the story through fewer people would make for a better book.”

Follow Mark on Twitter at : @markchisnell