The Proving Ground – Reviews

“A page-turner.”
Washington Post

The New York Times


“What a fantastic adventure story this is.”

“The most marvelous sailing documentary I have ever read—brilliantly executed, poignant, comprehensive, enticing.”
– William F. Buckley, Jr.

“Knecht has turned out a sailing masterpiece. His incredibly detailed research, even down to the actual or reconstructed dialogue of the crews of the boats and of the desperate rescuers, makes for a tale more thrilling than fiction. The book is in the ‘can’t put it down’ category. It is the Perfect Storm of blue-water sailboat racing.” ­
– Walter Cronkite

“Reconstructs a tragedy at sea…vividly re-creates a series of frightening events…a compelling, insightful look at sailors’ dedication to their sport, no matter what the risks.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“A fascinating ‘you are there’ sequence of events…in vivid detail and high drama…delves into the mystifying mind-set of those willing risk their lives for danger’s sake…has a powerful impact.”
Denver Rocky Mountain News

“Insightful, engaging…powerful drama….This is adventure writing at its best.”
– ­Detroit Free Press

“A gripping account…vividly captures not only the ocean’s fury but also the sheer terror of the competitors.”
San Jose Mercury News

“The detail is impressive and the narrative is compelling.”
The Times (London)

“Conveys the passionate love sailors have for the sea.”
USA Today

“An excellent narrative…joins the best books in the genre with its equal parts adventure and disaster story, plus insights into the why-they-do-it.”
Toronto Star

“The story is every bit as powerful as its literary antecedents. It is combat without bullets.”
– United States Naval Institute

“Knecht recounts the race at a breathless edge-of-the-sea pace.”

“A guaranteed adrenaline rush.”
Orange County Register

“FIVE STARS….Knecht captures acts of heroism and frailty, but in a display of astonishing writerly discipline, he never judges.”
– Jeff Bezos

“Vivid….powerful…..Knecht is at his best when detailing the volatile world of competitive sailing.”
Men’s Journal

“Engrossing…..a different Perfect Storm, writ large and with an expanded cast.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch

“A gripping, horrific page-turner…one of the most exciting sea stories of the last few years.”
Publisher’s Weekly

Kirkus Reviews