On November 3, 1996, former Royal Marine Pete Goss embarked on the most grueling competition in his sailing career: the Vende Globe, a nonstop, single-handed round-the-world yacht race. For the next seven weeks he met every challenge in his stormy path, from combating waves the height of six-story buildings to grappling with his spinnaker in high winds. Then everything began going wrong: His sails were destroyed, his navigation equipment proved useless. And on Christmas Day his radio picked up a Mayday that a French competitor was sinking 160 miles away. Turning into the hurricane-force winds, Goss set out to rescue a near-dead man on a life raft somewhere in the vast wilderness of the merciless southern ocean. How he did it makes this extraordinary tale as amazing as it is thrilling.