Charlie Barr, the legendary skipper of the three-masted schooner Atlantic, which held the record crossing of the Atlantic Ocean for most of the 20th century, was one of sailing's greats. He was knowledgeable, proud and difficult to work with. The owner of Atlantic, Wilson Marshall, was equally strong-willed, and the two men hated each other. Yet they needed each other as well. Marshall needed the best captain for Atlantic to compete in the trans-Atlantic Kaiser Cup (against the haughty German Kaiser Wilhelm), and Barr needed the best boat for his career.
Such was the scene prior to the start of the race in New York Harbor in May 1905. Scott Cookman's new book Atlantic, The Last Great Race of Princes, is about one of the greatest ocean races of all time, yet the characters are straight out of an Austen novel. They keep up appearances, but follow their hearts. Atlantic, just published this month by Wiley, is a gripping story with for voyagers and racers alike.