Brian is the author of six books including the international best seller Risk in Being Alive
revised and released again in 2010 as Grabbing Life.
His latest book, Grabbing the World, A Memoir of Inspiration, Perspiration and Betrayal
is now available. His current project, Grabbing the Dream
will be published in 2011.
"I have always loved books and the secrets they hold, secrets and surprises that unfold as you read each chapter. As a writer I get to be the one that hides the surprises and there are many as we travel through this amazing life. The first article I wrote was in 1980 for a South African sailing magazine. I had an ancient typewriter which I placed on an upturned bucket while sitting on the deck of a small yacht sailing between the Cape Verde Islands and Gibraltar. The ribbon was so old that many of the words were illegibly, but I remember the thrill I felt as I typed away looking out over the expanse of undulating ocean and wishing I was good enough to make a living out of writing stories. Since that day more than two decades ago I have written over a 1000 stories and carved a niche for myself as a sailing and adventure writer. With modern technology I can still write while I am at sea, but now I can type the piece on a laptop, take an image with my digital camera and upload them both via satellite directly to and editor for instant publication. The changes in technology allow me to write from anywhere in the world and it’s a freedom and lifestyle that I cherish more than just about anything.
After colliding with the reef off Bermuda at the end of a solo transatlantic passage I knew that my days as a professional sailor were numbered. Over the years I had written a number of stories about my travel and adventures. They were done for my daughter so that she had some record of what her Dad got up to when he was away from home. After fixing the boat in Bermuda I retreated to Newfoundland (on another boat) to lick my wounds and to pull my collection of stories into a book. It was meant to be a cathartic experience. I later published the book entitled Spindrift, True Tales from Scattered Parts of the Planet which did moderately well. More importantly it gave me the confidence to pursue a full time career as a writer. Spindrift was picked up by Nomad Press and turned into The Risk in Being Alive. Old stories were revamped and new stories were added. Nomad than took on a project I had long wanted to write; a comprehensive book about sails and sail technology. Maximum Sail Power was published in 2003 and also went on to moderate success. The book that has done the best was one I ghost wrote for Nick Moloney, a good friend who sailed around the world non-stop to set a new circumnavigation record. Chasing the Dawn was released in Europe only. A manuscript for a book I wrote for Canadian sailor Derek Hatfield recounting his solo circumnavigation sits with a publisher in Canada while my latest book, a stunning coffee table book done for UK based BG Group about their successful sponsorship of the winning boat in the 2004/5 Global Challenge . Winning Spirit was released with great reviews.
Writing books and articles is rewarding, but perhaps the most enjoyment comes from covering sailing events. In recent years I have been the “voice” for two extraordinary events, the Around Alone single handed around the world race, and the Oryx Quest, a non-stop race around the world out of the Middle East. Most recently I co-founded a new circumnavigation race, the Portimão Global Ocean Race and served as Communications Director for the event.
The latest communications technology allows me to bring these events, which for years took place in obscurity, to a loyal following of armchair adventurers around the world. I love these events and it’s good to see them now being followed by a mass audience.
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