Americas Cup in the Solent - new photo-storybook
I would like to introduce my new publication which covers the Solent and its military history and the America's Cup boats. The details of the book are here, please do have a look at the preview online (limited number of pages) and I hope that you will find it interesting enough to buy a copy.
Happy New Year,
WHAT IS IT?:
The photo-storybook is a collection of photographs which taken been taken by the author and are selected for this issue for the image quality, or for historical and subject interest. The images have been chosen for the storybook for their artistic composition, or a colourful vista, but mainly for the interest of the many subjects in the view. The contents of each image have been researched and a narrative has been added to tell the story of image and the subjects. This is a refreshing and unique approach to the handling of photographic images many of which do not have any background information. The intention in this style of story telling is to draw the reader into the image and take them on a journey. The images are arranged so that each page leads into the next in a themed sequence. There is a bibliography of sources for the historical information.
HOW TO REVIEW and TO BUY THE BOOK:
Blurb is a on-demand online publishing company for authors who wish to self-publish their works. Books are created with the online software package provided by Blurb and are ordered and printed from their website. Any prospective customer can order the book, or a run of items at a discount. The book costs about £60 for the largest version when ordered on the premium quality paper. The links to the book are provided below.
1. The published storybook: limited review for public use, order any size, quantity, or quality: http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/7649835-sailing
Title: Sailing: America's Cup Colours the Solent.
Synopsis: The Short Story of the Golden Age of Big Class Yacht Racing:
The Solent has witnessed some of the most beautiful boats to have been raced in the recent past. There have been some big personalities and their alter egos, the Big Class racing yachts, have been a source of wonderment and inspiration for the sailing community. The spirit of competition has never been stronger than in the Americas Cup, an international sailing regatta of great intrigue and longevity, a contest which has experienced the best and worst of human endeavours and which has now become the stage for boat racing at the very highest level. The story of the oldest international competition in the world has been the subject of so many masterly works that this short piece cannot do justice to the complexities of the personalities and the boats which have been admired by so many. The first cup was won in 1851 by a creation of the New World, an America team with the vision, drive and commitment to win, and who came to the sleepy Solent and won the RYS 100 Sovereigns silver Cup. It was an affront to the pride and confidence of an island nation with a long history of seafaring. Nelson must have turned in his grave. But the facts are there, sixteen British based challengers later and not one winner in 165 years, whilst three other nations have held the cup at some point. The America's Cup may have been known for the personalities of the team owners and their money but the boats are the beautiful creations of man's ingenuity to invent new designs to challenge the crews and their sailing machines.
This photo-storybook celebrates the boats of the Solent and those who sailed in them. The author has researched the subjects and backgrounds of each image to provide an insight into the fascinating history of the Solent and its characters. The images are colourful and the historical background is rewarding. Please enjoy both in equal measure.
FOREWORD OF THE BOOK:
SAILING: America's Cup in the Colourful Solent:
The Solent is small area of sea on the south coast of England which is enclosed by the Isle of Wight. This sheltered water has long been the home of yacht racing for many sailors. There has been a royal involvement since Queen Elizabeth had a ‘pleasure ship’ built in Cowes in 1588. The term yacht came into existence when King Charles II, who was also fond of sailing, was presented with the 100 ton yacht Mary by the Dutch City of Amsterdam. The Royal Cork Yacht Club of Ireland became the first sailing club to be established in 1729 and sailing competitions have been recorded as being held on the Thames since about 1739.
In Cowes the start of match racing was recorded in 1780 and by 1815 the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS) had been established to organise racing events in the Solent. The Regatta of 1826 was advertised as a race for a Gold Cup, valued at £100, and the annual Sailing Match. The former was so successful that a second Regatta was held with two Gold Cups as the winners prizes and gave the Solent the world famous Cowes Week Regatta. In London the Great Exhibition of 1851 was organised by Prince Albert and held at the fantastic Crystal Palace to showcase the finest products of industry from around the world. In celebration of this great event the RYS arranged a series of races based upon the traditional handicap formula. This allowed vessels of different sizes and sail plans to compete fairly against each other and makes for interesting racing. A syndicate of American businessmen commissioned a new boat or the race which was quite different, and much larger at 170 tons, than the usual English boats. She was so fast that the owners did not want to hamper her winning capabilities with a handicap and the owners of British boat did not want to race her. However, in the spirit of the Great Exhibition, and the legendary sense of English fair play for our international visitor, the annual Round the Island race was thrown open to any boat without restriction.
The Old World was about to meet the New with very little idea of what was to be for the next 165 years.
The schooner America led the fleet over the finish line in the Round the Island race of August 1851, prompting the famous response to the watching Queen Victoria, that 'there was no boat [seen] in second place' as the winner approached the finishing line. The prize was the ornate RYS 100 Sovereigns Cup and it was gifted by the winners to the New York Yacht Club as a prize for a new worldwide sailing competition to be held between yacht clubs. This was to become the oldest competitive event in the world and was renamed the America's Cup in 1870. The 35th Edition of the America's Cup will be held in Bermuda in 2017. The current holders, Oracle Team USA, are competing in a World Series during 2015-2016 with Challengers from Great Britain, Sweden, Japan, France and New Zealand.
In this quite unique place the Solent has seen so many stories of human endeavour and and has witnessed the birth of a sailing community. One Hundred and Sixty Five years ago the America's Cup was born in the Solent and we hope that it will return there very shortly.
This photo-album is a reflection of how the sailors and their boats have brought variety and colour to the Solent and of the story behind the most famous sailing competition of all. The historical narrative for each image is an innovative approach to linking the past with pictures of the present day. It is very much my hope that you will enjoy the pictures and the stories in equal measure, and that fortune will safely attend to the sailors who take to high seas in boats big and small.
Lionel Austin, October 2016.
There is only one way to describe the early years of childhood for the author, varied and interesting. Lionel has always been an avid reader and started to write short stories at school. Throughout his childhood his family were travelling around Britain as his father served in the RAF as a photographer. There were overseas assignments which meant that different schools and classmates were just as challenging as learning about new cultures and countries. Lionel was one of the fortunate few to be at the forefront of mass tourism and enjoyed much of the hospitality that unspoilt countries could offer. It was no surprise then that his career path took him to the Royal Navy and aviation. As an avionic systems engineer Lionel developed a passion for learning how things worked and traveled extensively on missions to so many places that his passport was one big visa stamp. On his travels a camera was always to hand and photography was more than a way of life as he captured images wherever his overnight bag landed. The military service can be a great learning experience for a young person but Lionel was eager to develop further in photo-journalism and was successful in having several articles published in magazines. There was to be no fairy tale success story here though and a return to engineering was tempered with a qualification, after four years of hard work on an Open University course, in project management. Over the years Lionel has become a very successful professional in project delivery in the IT industry. The need for constant travel to client sites may not have been entirely welcomed but there were many more opportunities to take photographs of all sorts of subjects. As the library of images grew into a meaningful collection of interesting and unique pictures there was a fresh challenge to be taken up. It was the inspiration of the famous landscape paintings by Joseph MW Turner which provided an impetuous to try something different. The painter was prone to weaving a human story into the subtle brushstrokes of delicate landscapes. Many cameos were played out by people in intriguing situations. And it was this that lead to the creation of a type of photo-storybook which could display photographs in way that informed readers on the many features in the image. There is much to be said about a scene in the Solent where history has been made since sailors made it their playground several thousand years ago. Lionel has been witness to some wonderful occasions on these waters and has set out to present these to a wider audience. He lives in Warwickshire with his partner and counts cycling, historical research, sailing and model railways as the main preoccupations of his time.
Royal Navy, Fleet Air Arm, Aircraft Engineer, Project Manager, Yachtsman, Author, Photographer, Eroica Cyclist, SE&CR Folkestone Harbour railway.