Into the Storm: Lessons in Teamwork from the Treacherous Sydney-to-Hobart Ocean Race

Author(s): Dennis N. T. Perkins

Sport & Transport

The Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is among the most demanding sailing competitions in the world. Unpredictable seas make the 628-nautical-mile course grueling under the best conditions, but the 1998 race proved to be the most perilous to date when a sudden and violent storm struck. Winds gusted over 100 mph and monstrous 80-foot waves towered over boat masts. Six sailors perished and another 55 were saved in what became the largest search and rescue operation in Australia's history. In the face of turmoil and tragedy, a crew of "amateur" sailors piloted their tiny vessel, the AFR Midnight Rambler, not only to the finish but to overall victory. While bigger, better-equipped yachts attempted to maneuver around the storm, Ed Psaltis and his crew made the daring decision to head directly into its path. Their triumph-perhaps even their survival-owes itself to an extraordinary level of teamwork: an alchemy of cooperation, trust, planning, and execution. Into the Storm chronicles their nearly four-day ordeal and draws parallels to the world of business, revealing 10 critical strategies for teamwork at the edge. Illustrated with examples from the story and compelling case studies, the book sheds light on what teams need to do to succeed in tough times. Finally, Into the Storm provides resources and tools to support teams as they navigate the chaotic seas of business today.


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."..excellent lessons on how to form a team, manage a team and the team dynamics that work best, especially when faced with an extremely demanding challenge." "--Serve to Lead"

DENNIS PERKINS is the author of Leading at The Edge and CEO of Syncretics Group, a consulting firm dedicated to helping leaders and teams thrive under conditions of adversity, uncertainty, and change. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, he successfully completed his first Sydney Hobart Race in 2006. JILLIAN B. MURPHY is the Director of Client Services at Syncretics.

Contents Map of the Sydney to Hobart Race vii Preface: At The Edge ix The Role of the Leader xv PART ONE The Story of the AFR Midnight Rambler and the Sydney to Hobart Race 1 1 The Everest of Ocean Racing 3 2 The Patriarch of a Sailing Family 12 3 Nuzulu and the Start of a Winning Team 15 4 The Midnight Rambler-A One-Off Boat 26 5 The Ramblers-Run-Up to the Race 29 6 The Aussie Competitors 34 7 Sayonara-The Big Yank Tank 39 8 Uncertain Weather-Buster or Bomb? 43 9 AFR Midnight Rambler-And They're Away! 47 10 Sayonara-The Best Professional Sailors on the Planet 52 11 AFR Midnight Rambler-Smokin' 55 12 Sayonara-Temporary Humility 60 13 An Ominous Forecast-Storm Warning 64 14 AFR Midnight Rambler-Hard or Squishy? 69 15 VC Off shore Stand Aside-A Twist of Fate 76 16 Rescue from the Sky-Angels on Winches 81 17 AFR Midnight Rambler-Hell on White Water 89 18 AFR Midnight Rambler-Sharing the Helm 96 19 Sword of Orion-Out of Control 104 20 General Mayday-An Official Catastrophe 113 21 AFR Midnight Rambler-Listen to That 119 22 Sayonara-Tack the Boat 126 23 AFR Midnight Rambler-A Commanding Position 130 24 Sayonara-A Thousand Years 136 25 Go the Rambler! 139 26 Wake of the Storm 144 27 Blue Water, Short Ocean-The Ramblers' Record of Sustained Success 148 PART TWO Critical Strategies for Teamwork at The Edge 155 28 Introduction to the Strategies 157 29 The Research Challenge 160 30 My Hobart 165 31 Team Unity: Make the team the rock star. 170 32 Prepare, Prepare, Prepare: Remove all excuses for failure. 179 33 Balanced Optimism: Find and focus on the winning scenario. 187 34 Relentless Learning: Build a gung-ho culture of learning and innovation. 195 35 Calculated Risk: Be willing to sail into the storm. 206 36 Stay Connected: Cut through the noise of the wind and the waves. 217 37 Step into the Breach: Find ways to share the helm. 223 38 Eliminate Friction: Step up to conflict-and deal with the things that slow you down. 229 39 Practiced Resilience: Master the art of rapid recovery. 236 40 Tenacious Creativity: Never give up-there's always another move. 241 A Note to the Skipper 245 The Parts of a Sailboat 250 Acknowledgments 251 Notes 257 Bibliography 263 Index 267

General Fields

  • : 9780814431986
  • : Amacom
  • : Amacom
  • : 0.588
  • : October 2012
  • : 236mm X 160mm X 21mm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Hardback
  • : 288
  • : colour illustrations, figures