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Astronaut of the Sea

Some years ago already CNN called Onne van der Wal the “astronaut of the seas”. And indeed there is no better way to describe him. He’s spent a lifetime aboard boats of just about every kind, both sailing and, since 1981’s Round The World Race (now the Volvo Ocean Race), also as a photographer. The thrill of combining his love of sailing with his penchant for photography has taken him as far north as Spitsbergen in the Norwegian Arctic and as far south as Antarctica.

Sailing America is Onne van der Wal’s new book – great for the coffee table – and it is a stunning photographic celebration of American sailing and the closest you’ll get on land to the feeling of being on deck. It’s sailing through the eyes of a true master of both sail and lens.

This deluxe, grand-scale, limited-edition book is a voyage across America, capturing the joy, excitement, and serenity of sailing in the waters of every region of the United States–from Puerto Rico to the tip of Alaska.

 Over a lifetime devoted to boats and the pursuit of pleasure on water, the photographer Onne van der Wal has accrued an unparalleled archive of the most evocative and beautiful photography of this great American sport. Organized by region, and including competition yachts, leisure crafts, and everything in between, the book presents stunning vignettes of every form of American sailing – from classic yacht racing around Newport, Rhode Island to beautiful schooners drifting across the Great Lakes, and from peaceful catamaran expeditions around the islands of Hawaii to handmade single-masters in the frozen waters of Alaska and intense Grand Prix races along the rocky coasts of the Pacific Northwest.

This lavishly illustrated volume—with nearly 200 color photographs and two gatefolds that unfold into glorious panoramic images—is a celebration of the nautical lifestyle, and a love letter to an archetypal American pursuit that is so much more than a pastime for all those lucky enough to enjoy it.

Gary Jobson wrote the introduction for the book. He’s no stranger to sailing either. He is an America’s Cup-winning tactician. He is the author of twenty books on sailing, has produced more than 1,200 television shows for ESPN, currently serves on the board of World Sailing, and is a past president of US Sailing.

If you love sailing, or any kind of boat for that matter, this one is for you…

— Samantha Reinders

Sailing America
Onne van der Wal, introduction by Gary Jobson
Rizolli (October 2019)

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