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Lesley Brydon helped make history as a member of the first all-girl crew to sail the Sydney to Hobart Race in1975 in the 35-foot sloop Barbarian.

Her memoir, Not Plain Sailing, tells of an era when women were generally not welcome on racing yachts, as she helped forge a path for the talented young women sailing ocean races today. 

Lesley sailed with a young Rupert Murdoch, poker machine king, Jack Rooklyn and legendary yacht designer Ben Lexcen.

She was a crew member of Australia’s first maxi-yacht, Ballyhoo, competing in some of the world’s most challenging ocean races alongside some of the great characters of ocean racing.

And there’s lots of fun and glamour, as she helped entertain prime ministers, Middle-Eastern royalty and Fleet Street media barons on Rupert Murdoch’s Ilina, on Sydney Harbour during the 1960s.

Her memoir conveys the excitement and drama of yacht-racing as well as the challenges and dangers of long ocean crossings. Whether her stories amuse you or scare the hell out of you, you will have great fun reading them.